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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

MCG to assert over private colonies

NEW DELHI/ GURGAON: The city’s municipal body took the initiative to take over the private colonies by seeking a status report from the urban local bodies. But the department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) that gives licences to private developers revealed that not a single private developer in Gurgaon has applied for completion certificate for any of their projects. This has jeopardized the plan of their takeover by the civic body.

Obtaining a completion certificate is a pre-requisite for transfer of the areas to the municipal corporation. “Despite the government coming out with a piece of legislation that allows the developers to pay a one-time fee to get partial or total completion certificate for over a year, not a single developer has opted for this,” disclosed T C Gupta, director general of DTCP.

As per the norms, a civic body can take over colonies developed by private players or any government agency five years after they get their completion certificate. Once the transfer happens the municipal body takes over the maintenance of all such colonies.

Considering that developers were keen on keeping the maintenance with them despite several instances of residents dragging them to court, the state assembly in 2010 had passed the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas (Amendment) Act. The legislation has allowed the builders and colonizers to pay a one-time infrastructure augmentation charge to get full or partial completion certificates.

The measure was also meant to raise funds that would be used %by the local authorities to provide much-needed infrastructure facilities like roads and sewerage.

“The developers could have taken this opportunity to get the completion certificate. The legislation also allowed the government to levy infrastructure augmentation charges in lieu of the waiver of 15% cap on profit margin for developers,” Gupta said.

As per the norms set by the government, private builders were not allowed to make more than 15% profit under the earlier provisions of the Act, but the rule was hardly followed.

Officials said that the developers used to fudge the balance sheets to show their profits always remained under 15%. This happened since the market forces and conditions decide the property rates and the norms %set by the government are rarely adhered to.

Meanwhile, sources said that the private builders are not interested in handing over their colonies to the municipal corporation which %will end their perennial source of revenue. “They get a lot of revenue in the form of maintenance charges and don’t want to dry that source. There is also a section of residents which wants the present system to continue since it fears the service level might get worse if the MCG takes over,” said a senior government official.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/MCG-to-assert-over-private-colonies/articleshow/12434451.cms

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