Noida Projects Get Green Signal On Okhla Eco Sensitive Zone

Noida Projects Get Green Signal On Okhla Eco Sensitive Zone

Briefing  the  report,  Environment  Minister  Mr  Prakash  Javadekar  said  that  the  notification  was  issued  within 24 –hours  after  the  National  Board  of  Wild  Life  (NBWL)  cleared  the  process  of  demarcating  the  ESZ. The  Standing  Committee  of  NBWL, chaired  by  Mr. Javadekar,  had  approved  the  draft  notification  for  the  Okhla  Eco  Sensitive  Zone (ESZ)  on  Tuesday.The  final  notification  declaring  Eco  Sensitive  Zone  (ESZ)  around  Okhla  Bird  Sanctuary  has  been  issued  by  Government  of  India  in  the  Gazette  of  India  dated  August 19th, 2015.  In  a  major  relief  to  thousands  of  flat  buyers  in  Noida  and  its  vicinity,  the  final  notification  was  issued  by  the Centre.

After  two  years  of  uncertainty   whether  they  would  get  to  live  in  their  homes,  homebuyers  of  thousands  of  apartments  in  Noida  heaved  a  sigh  of  relief .  While  many  of  them  have  been  making  monthly  loan repayments  during  this  period  even  as  they  paid  rent, builders  have  had  to  keep  paying  interest  on borrowings  and  did  not  get  the  final  payments  from  home buyers  on  time. The  government  did  not  get  the stamp  duty  from  the  registration  of these  apartments  because  of  the  delay.

This  will  bring   down  the  ESZ  in  the  Okhla  Bird  Sanctuary  to  100 metres  from  the  eastern, western  and  southern  boundary  of  the  sanctuary  and  up  to  1.27  km  from  the  northern  boundary  up  to  the  DND  flyover  across  the  Yamuna  river  bed  situated  in  Uttar  Pradesh’s  Gautam  Buddh  Nagar  district  and  southeast  district of  NCT  Delhi.

After  the  final  notification  has  been   issued  by  the  centre,  the Noida  Authority  will  be  able  to  give  completion  certificates  to  the  affected  housing  projects,  after  which  builder’s  can  start  handing  over  completed  apartments  to  the  house  buyers  outside  the  ESZ. The  Noida  Authority  is  expected  to  hand  over completion  certificates  to  developers  and  builders  within  a  week. All  allot  tees  of  group  housing  and commercial  projects  have  been  conveyed  to  clear  dues  first  and  then  completion  certificates  will  be  given.

This  had  been  pending  for  quite  some  time  as  an  October  2013  order  of  NGT  had  restrained   the  Noida  Authority  from  issuing  completion  certificates  to  projects  within  a 10-km  radius  of  the  sanctuary,  putting  on hold  the  construction  activities  in  53 upcoming  housing  projects,  malls  and  office  spaces.  Even  owners  of completed  flats  could  not  get  possession  as  NGT  had  put  issuance  of  ‘occupancy  certificates’  on  hold.

This  ban  had  affected  construction  activities   in  fifteen  sectors  of  Noida  including  sectors 74, 75, 76, 122  and 137,  among   others. This  includes  almost  all  big  builders  like  Amrapali, Jaypee,  Logix,  Gulshan Homes,  Ajnara Homes,  ATS,  Supertech, Mahagun,  DLF,  Unitech  and  others,  and  several  commercial  projects  and  office buildings. No  new commercial  establishment  or  construction  will  be  permitted  in  the  eco-sensitive  zone,  but  those  outside  it  can  get  a  no-objection  certificate.

The  delay  has  put  a  lot  of  stress  and  cost  on  buyers,  builders  and  the  state  government.   Close  to  100,000  apartments  have  been  built  or  being  constructed  in  the  area  with  the  loss  estimated  at  Rs 3,500 crore. About 35,000  of  the  apartments  are  said  to  be  complete  while  the   remaining  are  in  various  stages  of  construction  with  builders  having  gone  slow  on  account  of  the  uncertainty.

The  Okhla  reservoir  is  at  the  Okhla  barrage  over  Yamuna  river  and  is  situated  in  Gautam  Buddh  Nagar  district, was  declared  a  bird  sanctuary  by  the  Uttar  Pradesh  Government   under  the  Wild  Life (Protection) Act, 1972  on  May  8, 1990. It  is  a  haven  for  over  300 bird  species, especially  water  birds.


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