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State to crack whip on errant builders

Mumbai, June 7: The state government has decided to take action against those builders who have failed to register or transfer ownership of ...

Written by Manju Menon |
June 8, 1998

Mumbai, June 7: The state government has decided to take action against those builders who have failed to register or transfer ownership of land to housing societies. Around 40 per cent of the housing societies are unregistered in Mumbai.

The government proposes to set up a competent authority, with powers akin to a collector, to whom the affected societies will be able to appeal. "The competent authority will have the powers to take ownership rights from the builder and transfer it to the housing societies," sources said. The authority will pronounce its order within three months of receiving a complaint.

A high-level committee has also been set up in the last week to deliberate on the issue. It will go into the intricacies of the amendments to be brought in the Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act. The committee includes minister of state for housing, Raj Purohit, minister for special assistance, Prakash Mehta, BJP leader, Kirit Somaiya, MLC, Vyankappa Patki and president, Flat Owners’ Association,Mahabaleshwar Morje.

The amendment in the act entails debarring and blacklisting the builder and promoter if they have failed to execute the deed of conveyance and not registering the society as per the provisions laid down in the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, said Morje.

The deed of conveyance refers to the transfer of ownership of land from the builder (who in turn has bought it from the owner of the land) to the housing society.

According to Morje, the name of the erring builder will be referred by the competent authority to the relevant local authority so that the builder is not allowed to carry on any construction activity.

The housing societies between Bandra and Dahisar (in the western suburbs) and Chunabhatti upto Mulund (in the central suburbs) will stand to benefit the most as builders in these areas got access to extra FSI subsequent to the granting of Transfer of Developement Right (TDR).

The TDR was granted around two years ago to these suburban areas permitting the purchaseof extra FSI by the land owner. The FSI granted to the suburbs is 1 but by utilising the TDR, it can go upto 2.

The societies in Thane district can approach the competent authority provided the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) accepts the TDR amendment brought in under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, said Narendra Patel, Technical Advisor of the Builders Association of India.

Patel agreed that the builder occasionally fails to transfer the land ownership rights either due to negligence, personal interest or some legal hitches. The decisions of the competent authority would be litigated by the builders as they are not represented on the high-level committee, he added.

According to Morje, only 60 per cent of the housing societies in Mumbai are registered and are able to enjoy benefits including low municipal taxes and stamp duty.

The builders have been flouting the rules and constructing illegal structures in complete violation of the Bombay Municipal ( Provincial) Corporation Act", saidsenior vice-president, Lloyds BHP, a property management and consultancy firm. He felt that the erring builders should be punished in order to enforce discipline in the industry.

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