Bhubaneswar, Oct. 2: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has decided to raise awareness to make real-estate developers contribute towards local area development by paying no-objection certificate fees.
For the past one-and-half years, the civic body has collected 2 per cent of the project cost for local development — developing drains, roads and sewerage. Sources said around Rs 10 crore has been collected so far, but it would have been more with better cooperation from the real-estate developers. The cost of civic infrastructure building in BMC has reached Rs 127 crore in this year’s budget.
Municipal commissioner Sanjib Kumar Mishra said: “The cost of civic infrastructure has gone up manifold. Therefore, users, especially developers of multi-storey complexes, need to invest more as at many places amenities have to be created specifically for the housing group. We want to sensitise the developers. We will discuss the matter with officials of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), housing and urban development department, sewerage board, revenue department and other agencies concerned.”
“The multi-storey housing complexes generate a lot of solid waste and wastewater. If they do not come forward to contribute, we cannot ensure drain and road connections to the buildings, as it is next to impossible to foot the cost of the development near the fringe areas,” said Mishra.
The 74th Amendment of the Indian Constitution stipulates that urban local bodies have the power for planning approval. As the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has no infrastructure facilities for plan approval, the BDA approves the plans. However, the municipal commissioner hinted that in future the BMC would approve plans.
Subhranshu Rath, general secretary, Confederation of Citizens’ Association, said: “The civic body should open a planning cell as soon as possible for perfect coordination between civic infrastructure and overall planning.”
President, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Odisha chapter), D.S. Tripathy said: “BDA is already collecting fees of Rs 10 per square foot for plan approval. But with many other processing fees, the plan approval finally comes to around Rs 12 per square foot. Similarly, though the no-objection certificate (NOC) from BMC requires only 2 per cent of the project cost, it comes to around 4 per cent as the civic body also adds the land cost.”
Tripathy called it a “double taxation process”. “We have already met the BDA vice-chairman, the mayor and the BMC Commissioner so that the collection of charges are rationalised. We are not against contributing towards the city development process, but why are only multi-storey structures targeted? It is indirectly forcing the real-estate developers to escalate the prices.”
Sources in the BMC said that while there were nearly 800 multi-storey structures among apartment types in the city and nearly 100 were under construction, many do not apply for the NOC. In a survey, the BDA authorities had identified more than 100 apartments where the builders have not taken NOCs from BMC.
“Those who are not applying for the NOC are told to collect the certificates as soon as possible,” said a senior official of the BDA’s planning department.