The Noida Authority is likely to extend some interest relief soon to realtors whose projects were delayed because of the legal battle to demarcate an eco-sensitive zone around the Okhla Bird Sanctuary. But the respite on offer is well short of what real estate companies had asked for.
Senior Noida officials said the board had approved a 75-day ‘zero period’ from August 14, 2013 to October 28, 2013, for which interest on land allotment charges will be waived. Penal interest for the entire two-year period during which the legal battle was on and construction activity in the bird park’s influence zone had been stayed (August 14, 2013 to August 19, 2015), may also be waived.
The stay had affected nearly 50,000 home buyers who had bought flats in the area. The waiver is likely to up to 20 group housing societies built by various real estate companies.
Noida officials said the decision to extend the waiver got the board’s stamp in November 2016 and now awaits the CEO Amit Mohan Prasad’s approval. “The decision is yet to be implemented,” said Shishir Singh, Noida’s additional CEO. “We have received applications from about 20 builders for the amnesty. The proposal is being examined by the planning department to demarcate the exact area and to identify the number of developers falling within the area. Once approved, developers will also be able to avail a free extension period for construction of any project, which had been stalled during the said duration.”
But realtors will only get the waiver if they agree to pass on the benefits to homebuyers. There is a mandatory condition that the developer has to pass on this benefit to the homebuyer in the respective project,” the ACEO said. “Developers will have to give us an affidavit that they will be doing this. If we find they are not passing it on, we will withdraw the benefit.”
Real estate developers in the area have been demanding a much longer ‘zero period’. They claim projects had been in limbo between 2013 and 2016 despite the stay being lifted in 2015 because there were no funds to carry out construction. They have demanded that the Authority consider even 2016 as a part of the ‘zero period’.
“It is not logical to provide a partial benefit during the affected period,” said Amit Modi, vice-president of realtors’ association Credai (western UP chapter). “All developers have made their respective representations to Credai, saying the benefit should be for the entire period. It is in buyers’ interest that the government and Noida Authority take a positive decision. For any industry to revive, the benefits have to be given in totality.”