Mumbai: Why this Gudi Padwa won't spell good news for builders

With Gudi Padwa, one of the biggest festivals when builders launch their projects, only a month from now, the Bombay High Court’s restraining order on the BMC, to not issue IOD and CC for new construction, comes as a major blow to the real estate sector. Hardly two weeks ago, the state government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the builders’ body, MCHI, to construct more than 6 lakh affordable homes.

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The division bench of Bombay High Court, on Monday, stayed new construction because the state government and 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 past their capacity.

Builders feel they are being targeted for no fault of theirs. “The government and the BMC should be penalised. They have collected more than Rs 10,000 crore in 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 fault,” questions Rajesh Vardhan, Managing Director of Vardhaman builders.

Another builder added that the situation for real estate developers 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 our new projects. But, when the builders are not going to be issued IOD or CC, how will we launch new projects? This will spoil not only our market, but will also affect the home buyers, who wait for festive season to purchase a home,” said another builder.

Arqam Shaikh, architect from ARC associates, claimed that, if IOD and CC are not issued, then no construction in Mumbai will take place. “IOD and CC are most important aspects for starting real construction of the building. Unless one gets it, the construction cannot commence. 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 the near future,” he said.

Builders fear that this will unnecessary burden them, as many have bought land on interest and more the delay, more they will suffer financially.

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

MCHI’s members held an emergency meet at their office in Marine Lines on Tuesday evening. In the meeting, ways of tacking the issue were discussed. However, they didn’t prefer talking to media. One of the senior members of MCHI said, “We haven’t yet got the order copy. Unless we get it, we won’t comment on it.”

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