The central government’s move to reduce the area of eco sensitive zone (ECZ) around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary will benefit over 50,000 home buyers.
The announcement of reduction of Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) from 10 km to 100 meter around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary has spread cheer among home buyers, who now will be able to get occupancy certificates for their apartments embroiled in the controversy for long. The declaration has come a day after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to issue final notification on ESZ near the sanctuary. The official notification will be issued soon.
Resolution to the long pending issue has given a sigh of relief to both home buyers and developers in the area. Nearly 2.5 lakh people were left stranded because of the issue, while the projects of around 40 developers including those of Jaypee, Amrapali, Supertech, Paramount and ATS were impacted. After the notification, allottees of flats in completed projects will be able to get possessions by the end of this year. Over 30,000 home buyers are awaiting immediate possession of their apartments, while 50,000 others are expecting possessions by the end of this year. Jaypee Infrastructure, one of the impacted developer, is expected to give possession of nearly 5,000 flats.
The move also allows developers to complete their stalled projects in the area. Another real estate giant, DLF will resume construction of its 2 million sq ft mall. The company plans to complete it by April 2016. Industry players have welcomed the move and believe that it will help boost the real estate market of the region. Amit Modi, Vice President, CREDAI Western UP said, “The decision provided the much needed clarity on the fate of several real estate infrastructure projects, which were severely affected due to the order passed by the NGT. Ambiguity on the ESZ around the sanctuary has already cost the local economy more than Rs 2000 crore.”
“The final notification clubbed with the non-increment in circle rates for group housing apartments, will bring an overall positive swing in the sentiment of buyers as well as developers,” says Brijesh Bhanote, Director (Sales and Marketing), Lotus Greens Developers Pvt. Ltd.
Prashant Tiwari, Chairman, Prateek Group feels that the swift implementation of this order will lead to an upward trend in sales in this upcoming quarter.
The move will also bring in the much needed capital influx for local exchequer and increase the property registration activity in the area, which had slowed down by nearly 30% year-on-year basis. Modi from CREDAI, however, urged the state government to show some flexibility on stamp duty charges for affected home buyers. He said, “We request the state stamp and registration department to provide the home buyers with some relief concessions on stamp duty charges in effect due to revised circle rates at the start of this month.”
Time line of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary Case:
- The Okhla Bird Sanctuary is spread over 3.5 square kilometres of area. In 1990, state government of Uttar Pradesh, declared it a protected area under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
- In October 2013, a petition was filed by a local environmentalist seeking stay on commercial activities happening in an around the Sanctuary. The NGT then issued a statement directing the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority to not issue ‘Completion Certificates (CC)’ to any structure falling within 10 km of Okhla bird sanctuary or Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ). The issuance of CC was suspended till the time No Objection Certificate from the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) is obtained.
- In June 2014, the Supreme Court upheld the order after Jaypee Infrastructure filed a plea seeking Completion Certificate for its construction in the area.
As many as 55,000 home buyers will benefit from the central government’s move on Tuesday to reduce the area of the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary