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Gera in News

Simplify laws for clearing major projects, demand city builders

DNA - 20 October, 2013

They cite official apathy forcing them to bypass rules Sandip Kolhatkar & Anurag Bende @SandipKolhatkar & @journoanurag Two days after the National Green Tribunal (western zone) fined two Mumbai developers for proposing small projects to bypass mandatory approval process by competent authorities and then expanding them, city builders cite cumbersome procedures and delays in clearances as the reasons for doing so. Admitting that bypassing the law of the land is not the order, builders bared the maths by calculating the delay in obtaining environment, aerial etc. clearances and the losses they make which are eventually passed on to buyers. Builders rue that simple steps like single window clearance or at least more frequent meetings of competent authorities to review proposals vis-a-vis the once-in-a-month meeting cycle would help in avoiding delays and such tactics. Bharat Agarwal of Kasturi Developers told dna that developers working on big projects face major issues in getting environmental and aviation clearance from authorities as approximately it takes at least two years for approval. Hence, the projects get stalled and buyers end up paying the extra cost. He demanded simpler and uniform laws for approvals. City Corporation COO JK Bhosale said that there is a lack of will in the bureaucracy resulting in unnecessary delays in getting approvals for projects. “Really good projects get stalled due to policy paralysis and lackadaisical approach. The government should think in public interest as it is the buyer who gets cornered if a particular project is stalled or delayed.” Gera Developments managing director and Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (Credai) Pune- Metro vice president Rohit Gera said that delay in getting various approvals result in escalation of cost of the project. Speaking to DNA, Gera said, “There are various stages where developers face delays — at the time of buying property, getting plan sanctioned from local authorities and various permissions at the time of construction. Hence, property buyers also get late possession of property at a higher price. Shelter is a basic necessity and therefore government should take steps in making sure that homebuyers get early possession of their houses.” Gera expressed unhappiness over Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) policy of charging premium from builders for developing new properties but not utilizing those funds in those respective areas where property is located. Additional city engineer (building permission) Vivek Kharvadkar said that the authorities are trying to bring reforms in the systems in the past two to three years.

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