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.
Ajay Verma, founder, and writer of The Housing World, a real estate and mortgage news website. He has over fifteen years of rich experience in the above-mentioned industries.