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DLF questioned on starting SEZ with no plan approval

However, sources said that DLF has surprisingly kept the construction activity going despite the notice last month, reports Hitender Rao.
By Hitender Rao | Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON MAR 17, 2008 12:00 PM IST

Real estate giant DLF Universal could be in deep trouble with the Haryana Town and Country Planning Department (TCPD) that is now contemplating legal action against the developer for allegedly starting construction activity on its 31-acre special economic zone (SEZ) at Silokhra in Gurgaon without obtaining formal plan approvals from the TCPD.

The department has served a notice on the real estate developer under the provisions of Scheduled Roads Act for carrying out construction activity without obtaining mandatory approval of building plans, Director, Town and Country Planning, Sudeep Singh Dhillon said. “If anyone violates laws and regulations, we will initiate action. It could even be a criminal action,’’ he said. Dhillon said that an opportunity has been afforded to the developer to submit its reply to the notice.

However, sources said that DLF has surprisingly kept the construction activity going despite the notice last month.

“In fact, the construction activity stopped only momentarily when a team from the office of district town planner visited the site for inspection. It resumed no sooner they left the spot. The priority now is to stop the construction activity and probably get a case registered for violating the Acts,’’ said an official.

The DLF SEZ though notified by the Government of India still awaits a notification from the state government as the master plan, zoning plans and building plans of the SEZ have not been approved by the TCPD.

"The state notification can be done after the TCPD approval on plans and depositing of the Infrastructure Development Charges by the developer,’’ said the official.

The matter was debated during a meeting of the evaluation committee constituted for appraising SEZ projects. DLF’s representatives were also present.

The company’s representatives were told by the officials during the meeting that such conduct was not expected from a firm that has been in the real estate business for so long, adding that by starting unsanctioned construction activity, the real estate developer had flouted safety norms as well. “They have also flouted NHAI norms for creating openings on the national highway,’’ officials said.

On the other hand DLF-Haryana officials said they had the necessary approvals from the SEZ development commissioner.

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