While builder claims extra money will go to the BMC, civic body officials say they have nothing to do with the project as it comes under the SRA
When Krishnan Venkatesh booked a flat in a leading developer’s building project in Kurla (West) in 2009, he was assured of possession of his dream house in 2010. But four years later, apart from the delay, the builder has now shattered his dreams by allegedly asking him to shell out extra money for additional areas.
Venkatesh is not alone. Several flat buyers, who have paid the builder for the flats, are in a similar predicament, after the developer called them to his office on January 8 and informed them that they would only be given possession of their dream homes after paying the additional charges.
Several homebuyers, who booked flats at Premier Residences in Kurla (W) in 2009, are protesting against the builder’s unreasonable demand of extra charges. They were assured of possession in 2010, but four years later, they are still waiting. Pic/Atul Kamble
The builder is allegedly demanding money for the balcony, duct area and flowerbeds. Moreover, the buyers say that the developer is asking them to make the payment at the prevailing market rate, even though they booked the flat few years ago. The homebuyers allege that the developer told them that the BMC asked them to make the additional payment and hence was recovering it from the buyers.
“The builder told us that the extra money is needed for the extra area that has been given to them and is in accordance with the agreement that we had entered in with him. He has claimed that money was to be paid to the BMC in the form of fungible FSI. They aren’t ready to give us any sort of documents, which only means something is wrong here,” said Venkatesh.
Iqbal Mulani, another homebuyer, said, “They started demanding money from us in the first week of January and since then we have been asking them to give us some proof of the BMC claim in writing, which they are not ready to do so.” Municipal corporator of the area, Manali Tulaskar, who has also bought a flat, said, “I had enquired with the BMC about their role in the same respect, but I was told that they had no role to play.
After learning of the SRA aspect, I checked with the SRA officials, and also wrote to them but there was no reply from their end. The people are suffering and so am I, as the EMI has already started and we are not able to stay in the house as well.”
When MiD DAY contacted the BMC, they refused making any demands from the builder and were, moreover, unaware of the project. Manoj Upadhayay, deputy chief engineer, BMC, said, “We are not a part of the project to demand for the fungible FSI, as the land belongs to SRA and in such case when the development is done, the money is given to SRA and the BMC collects it from the SRA. Hence, we have not demanded any money from them.”
When MiD DAY got in touch with SRA (Slum Rehabilitation Authority), the Chief Executive Officer, Nirmal Deshmukh, said, “The builder after constructing SRA buildings has built sellable flats, which has nothing to do with us and we have not asked for any fungible FSI either.”
The other side
No official statement was provided on the recent development in regards to the BMC and SRA’s comments due to an unfortunate bereavement in the family of the management. But earlier, a HDIL spokesperson had said, “We are ready with approximately 1,000 flats at the Kurla Premier Residences project.
The company has already handed over nearly 200 flats and is in the process of handing over another 200 flats. Additional payments, if any, taken for various utilities are fully accounted and a duly acknowledged receipt is given to every buyer and for every payment made. Thereby, the company has paid all requisite taxes and every transaction is registered as required for by the laws of the land.”
'Fungible FSI' concept
With the FSI being exploited to earn super-normal profits at the cost of the buyer, the civic body brought forth a fresh formula to curb this misuse. This concept called 'Fungible FSI' could pave way for better transparency and would also reduce corruption. The civic body amended the Development Control Rules (DCRs).
The DCRs were amended and two lists were prepared one contained items considered free of FSI and the other items that could no longer be claimed under this provision. This now includes ornamental features. If a developer wishes to build more, he has to pay premium to the BMC. This additional space officially sold by the civic authority to the developer in the form of extra FSI in lieu of the premium is called 'Compensatory' FSI or 'Fungible FSI'.
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