Natural justice ill served
CHENNAI: Concerned over the real estate industry, which is down in the dumps, the state has been working overtime and has unveiled a series of measures like reduction of guideline value, decentralisation of building approval plans and amendment in town planning rules to regularise illegal buildings. The state authorities, who have even opened new sand quarries, are pinning hopes on the construction industry reviving and leading to a rise in property registrations. But industry sources say they have no great faith in the state's optimism although they do welcome a few new regulations and announcements that were made in the last three weeks.
"The registration charges have been increased from one percent to four percent. The government is offsetting the revenue loss from one side and collecting it from the other side and this will certainly affect the customers registering the properties", said Mr T.Chitty Babu, Chairman and CEO, Akshaya properties. The former office bearer of Confeder-ation of Real Estate Developers Associa-tion of India (CREDAI) also criticised the move to regularise the illegal buildings. "Any kind of regulation is not acceptable. It is typically a violation of the norms discussed by the Chennai Metro Dev-elopm-ent Auth-ority (CMDA) and Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) at the time of approval. Any deviations or violations, the enf-orcement cell should have acted during the construction period. This implementation of regularisation would encourage the people to violate again and pay penalties and get it approved and this is not a solution to the issues", he opined.
However, there were also voices supporting CMDA. According to Siva Sankar, MD, Ashok properties limited, "CMDA can very well do online verification rather than the local bodies doing it. Local bodies won't have in-depth knowledge about the approval of buildings as they only have people whose ranks are below that of an assistant planner. So, the deciding authorities should be CMDA or DTCP."
However, the early disposal of plan app-rovals has brought cheers among the builders. "The move to issue the building plans within 30 days would benefit the customers and builders a lot. Now with the process of ap-proval to be completed within 30 days, customers would not face hardship and whenever a project approval is delayed it will escalate the project cost and this will end up with the customers paying more," said V Pratish Devadoss, managing director, VGN property developers.The new amendment that was brought in town planning rules would also benefit the government to generate revenue by collecting a regularisation fee for illegal buildings that were built illegally after 2007, said Pratish.