NEW DELHI/NOIDA: For nearly 1 lakh homebuyers in Noida, the biggest hurdle in the way of getting possession of flats could be gone as early as this week or the next.
Union minister and Gautam Budh Nagar (Noida) MP Mahesh Sharma on Wednesday said the Centre has finalized the no-construction zone around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary at a radius of 100 metres on the Noida side and will issue the final notification in the "next few days". This means housing projects in the vicinity would be out of the restricted zone.
Sharma made the announcement after a meeting with environment minister Prakash Javadekar, in which representatives of homebuyers' associations were also present. The contours of the finalized eco-sensitive zone are unchanged from last year's MoEF's draft notification.
A highly placed source in the Union environment ministry (MoEF) told TOI that Javadekar had cleared the final notification on the reduced eco-sensitive zone around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. "There is a legal procedure in bringing out the final notification. Things have been speeded up and the notice will be out soon," the source said.
After his meeting with Javadekar, Noida MP Mahesh Sharma said, "We have been assured by the minister that the final notification will be brought out over the next few days. This will bring much relief to homebuyers who have been hard-pressed financially because of the stay on construction activity."
The MoEF had last year released a draft notification of the no-construction area, or eco-sensitive zone, around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary, marking its contours at a radius of 100 metres to the west, south and east of the park and 1.27km to its north. The final notification, according to the MoEF source, will make no change to this, ensuring that no realty project in Noida gets affected.
These projects were thrown into uncertainty after the National Green Tribunal demarcated a 10km area around the sanctuary as an eco-sensitive zone because the UP government hadn't officially marked a buffer area. As a result, no new building in that area could get a completion certificate. One lakh flats have already been built, 30,000 of them ready and waiting to be handed over.
Sharma, a junior minister for culture and tourism minister, held several meetings with homebuyers in recent days, the urgency coming on the back of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's meeting with flat-owners on May 3 and assurance of support to them.
"Homebuyers in my constituency have been extremely harassed over the past year. They are paying EMIs on one hand and rents on the other," Sharma said, explaining why he had taken up the issue on a high priority.
Manoj Gaur, president of the NCR chapter of real estate body Credai, said, "It's a great relief for not just buyers but builders and even the state government. While the builders will finally be able to procure completion certificates, buyers will be able to register their properties, and above all, the state government will be able to procure close to Rs 2,000 crore worth of stamp duty."