Maharashtra builders seek to rectify anomalies in rules

November 23rd, 2010 - 7:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 23 (IANS) Builders in Maharashtra Tuesday asked the state government to remove discrepancies in the Development Control Regulations and ensure that flats were sold based on the carpet area norm.

In a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and other concerned departments, the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI) said builders were willing to follow the carpet area norm but it was difficult to do so in view of various constraints.

Explaining the scenario, MCHI president Sunil Mantri said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation sanctions building permission plans based on built-up area (BUP).

Similarly, the urban development department also sanctions all building permission plans based on BUP; stamp duty on flats is also charged as per BUP.

While one authority stipulates carpet area, the others continue to insist on BUP.

“We are willing to adopt sale of flats on carpet area basis which will enable us to implement the government’s stated intention. However, it is very essential… to bring uniform practice for sale of flats on carpet area basis by all the developers,” Mantri pointed out.

In Mumbai, constructed property was measured and bought or sold in terms of the carpet area till the 1970s when the trend of BUP crept in.

Under BUP, the builders counted all the common areas like the passage, staircase, lifts, podium etc and weaved it into the total cost of the flat.

Some developers also resorted to charging as per super built-up area, in which the areas such as building compound, parking areas, swimming pools, clubhouse and gardens were calculated for the total cost of the flat.

The justification was that builders must recover the additional costs incurred on the various add-on services provided to the consumers.

This led to prices being hiked to exorbitant levels and builders advertised the add-on services to justify the higher prices.

According to prominent builder Nitin Shah, the government’s decision to implement carpet area norm was “very laudable” and would help rein in flat prices, which have crossed Rs.10,000 per square ft in the suburbs.

“Due to the so-called add-ons, an ordinary two-bedroom-hall-kitchen flat in the northernmost suburbs like Borivli and Mulund cost around Rs.1 crore, putting them out of reach of 80 percent of the city’s population,” Shah explained.

The result is that builders’ investments worth billions remain blocked for years, flats remain unsold, while consumers are deprived of decent affordable housing as they wait for the prices to correct, Shah said.

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