NEW DELHI: For more than 50,000 apartment buyers in Noida hoping to take possession of their completed homes soon, the wait is likely to get longer. The environment ministry is yet to take a final call on how far the boundary of the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary will extend. A group of anxious home buyers is meeting Rahul Gandhi on Saturday to ask for help.
While there is a view within the environment ministry that the 100 metre ESZ boundary proposed in the previous draft notification should be reviewed, a senior official said objections and inputs on the issue have only recently been received. The ministry will examine these and issue a notification accordingly.
Environment minister Prakash Javadekar told ET that the notification on the Okhla Bird Sanctuary was a "work in progress".
"There are 600 notifications pending," he said. "We have decided on 130 ESZ boundaries. The 10-kilometre ESZ boundary was advised by courts as states did not create justifiable buffer zones around these sanctuaries. Now a justifiable boundary has to be defined."
Several builders haven't been able to hand over possession of homes for the last year and a half due to an October 2013 order of the National Green Tribunal. This forbade the Noida Authority from giving completion certificates to projects that fall within a 10-kilometre radius of the adjacent Okhla Bird Sanctuary.
A group of buyers under the banner of the NCR Home Buyers Group, an umbrella organisation of 30 home buyers' associations, has taken up the delay with Congress member Ajay Maken. The meeting with Gandhi has followed this.
Markandey Mishra, who works at an insurance company, is a founder of the group. Having bought a house in 2009 in a Jaypee group project on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway, he's awaiting possession.