Noida Development Authority
NEW DELHI: Relief is in sight for more than 30,000 apartment owners in Noida as the government has decided to re-designate the eco-sensitive zone around the Okhla bird Sanctuary, bringing it down to 100 metres on three sides where several real-estate projects were impacted because of a green tribunal's order.
On the fourth side, the sanctuary's north towards the DND flyway, the zone will extend up to 1.27 kilometres, said a senior official at the Ministry of Environment and Forests who didn't want to be named.
Homes in several completed buildings around the sanctuary couldn't be handed over to their owners because the National Green Tribunal had forbidden the Noida Authority from giving completion certificates to projects that fall within a 10-kilometre radius of the sanctuary.
The new stipulations are part of the draft proposals being readied by the MoEF based on the recommendations of a three-member committee that included forest officials from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and the environment ministry. ET had reported on July 9 that the committee had suggested a smaller eco-sensitive zone for the sanctuary. The new draft notification has to be cleared by the law ministry before it can be made public.
"The minister will sign the notification soon," said the MoEF official. The suggestions of the committee are similar to those of the UP government. The delay in getting the apartments have cumulatively cost more than Rs 1,500 crore to buyers as well as builders as most home buyers have been shelling out loan installments even while they waited for possession, said Getamber Anand, managing director of ATS Infrastructure, a builder.
An equal number of apartments are close to completion but because of the ban, most developers had gone slow in their construction. "The decision removes the cloud of uncertainty that has been hanging over the fate of various real-estate projects near the sanctuary while seeking to strike a fair balance between the imperatives of urban housing development and ecological sustainability," said P Sahel, vice chairman of Lotus Greens Developers.
Shiv Priya, executive director at the Amrapali group, which was unable to hand over close to 5,000 ready apartments in Noida for many months, said the company is hoping buyers can move into their homes latest by March next year.