Mumbai: Builders cry foul over restraining order on new construction

Developers feel they have been targeted for no fault of theirs; say the High Court’s decision will ruin the festive season

With Gudi Padwa, one of the biggest festivals when builders launch their projects only a month away, the Bombay High Court’s restraining order on the BMC, to stop them from issuing Intimation for Disapproval (IOD) and Commencement Certificate (CC) for new construction, the real estate sector is set to suffer a major blow.

The Bombay High Court’s restraining order on the BMC stops them from issuing Intimation for Disapproval (IOD) and Commencement Certificate (CC) for new constructions. Representational pic

This is a major set back for the real estate industry, as hardly two weeks ago, the state government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the builders’ body Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) to construct more than 6 lakh affordable homes.

A division bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday stayed new constructions, because the state government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), have failed to comply with the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) rules at the Deonar and Mulund dumping grounds, which are working well beyond their capacity.

‘Builders targetted’
Builders feel that they are being targetted for no fault of theirs. “The government should be penalized, the BMC should be penalized. They have collected more than Rs 10,000 crore in the form of development fees, premium on FSI and other such things, and still haven’t been able to find a new dumping ground. Why should builders suffer for their faults?” said Rajesh Vardhan, Managing Director of Vardhaman builders.

Another builder claimed that the situation for real estate is bad anyways, with low sales across the city and this is a dampener especially during the Gudi Padwa festival. “During Padwa, we builders launch new projects. But now how will we launch them? This will spoil not only our market, but will affect the home buyers, who wait for festive season to purchase a home,” said another builder.

Arqam Shaikh, architect from ARC associates, said, “IOD and CC are the most important aspects for starting construction. Submitting a file to the BMC won’t make any sense, if IOD and CC aren’t issued. This means no construction work will start in Mumbai in near future,” he said.

Builders fear that the order will burden them, as many of them have bought land on interest, and if there is a delay, they will suffer financially.

Rais Shaikh, Samajwadi group leader in BMC and the corporator from Deonar, said, “It’s because the Sena-BJP-led BMC and the state government didn’t find a solution for the dumping ground that the whole of Mumbai’s development is stuck now.”

Comments after seeing order
MCHI’s members held an emergency meeting at their office in Marine Lines on Tuesday evening. They discussed this issue, however, they didn’t prefer talking to the media. A senior member of MCHI said, “We haven’t yet got the order copy. We won’t comment on it until we get it.”

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