Ban on registering unapproved properties in TN (1)

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gavel, scale, and law book

For last 2 months, I have been receiving calls, querying on unapproved properties, on registrations, getting approval letters, validity etc. This series of blog is just to share some knowledge on the topic. But the moral of the story is – Always buy an DTCP or CMDA approved properties.

Unapproved Properties Ban

The background –

  1. Last November, 2015 we saw Chennai and rest of Tamilnadu suffer from huge floods, rain water entering people homes, with whole city and state under water, where people suffered more than a week without water, food and basic needs.  It was an man made ecological disaster, where encroachments were part of life and business.
  2. Learning a lesson and to protect the environment, a public interest litigation is filed in the state court to protect the environment and future. Hearing the petition, the court has put a blanket ban in registering unapproved plots or layouts, housing in the state. Its an welcome and timely initiative, which will prevent unauthorized encroachments and land conversions.
  3. Many real estate organizations welcomed the move, and commented this keep a check on agricultural to non-agricultural conversion, which were happening in a unplanned manner. Off course this is huge blow, to some real estate companies who promote and market unapproved plots, in the name of Panchayat approval.
Q’s on Approving authorities –
  • A DTCP/ CMDA approval is provided to a layout, based on meeting a certain list of criteria (ex- leaving a good percentage of total area – for roads, community hall, children school, park and for laying out minimum 30 to 60 feet roads etc.
  • Before getting the approval, the real estate company should gift deed the land earmarked for civic amenities to the concerned authority . Post this process, the govt agency will approve the layout.
  • The percentage of area to be allocated for civic amenities vary from case to case basis, based on the total area of the layout. In short, a good amount of land has to be gifted to the govt to bring civic infrastructure when the layout gets populated.
  • Most real estate agencies do not want to donate this land to govt, go through the process. Instead pocket themselves, by going for an non-existent panchayat approval. Instead of meeting the criteria set by approval authorities, they go for no objection certificates for panchayats.
  • DTCP circular number 9862/ 10BA1 dated 14.6.2010, clearly mentions that, no panchayat has the right/ or authority to approve a layout. More clearly, panchayat  does not have any powers to approve a layout or a building in a unauthorized layout. They can only provide approval for a building only in approved layouts. Most real estate companies, argue they have panchayat approval for the layout, but there is nothing like that, legal.
 Land conversions –

1) In Kerala and Karnataka, converting a agricultural land to non agricultural land is very tough and difficult and can be done only in certain circumstances, meeting a ‘near to impossible’ list of criteria. The respective governments has laid strict measures for protecting the interest of the farmers and environment.

2) In TN, so far real estate companies are converting the land in a haphazard manner. exploiting all the loop holes and exceptions.

3) Now it will be a opportunity for the TN govt to plug those and bring stricter measures to protect the interests of the people, farmers and environment.

Now What is the solution for people who have already invested in unapproved properties ?
At the moment, they cannot either buy or sell unapproved ones. Properties that have been already sold and people who have bought, should look for some regularization schemes by govt, by a one time post facto approval. But when that will happen and come into force, is a million dollar question.
                                                                                                                                                                                    –to be continued!

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