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Twist in plot: Check and buy

Bhubaneswar, July 19: The next time you buy a flat on the city outskirts, ensure that the developer has followed the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) norms.

Even the houses, which were on the periphery of the 419sqkm authority plan area, are supposed to abide by the rules framed under the Orissa Development Authority (ODA) Act, 1982. Now, the authority’s jurisdiction is more than 1,000sqkm following inclusion of 315 more villages.

Sources in the BDA said after inclusion of additional villages in the plan area, building permission given by the block development officers in these areas would be invalid. All buildings in the authority territory would have to abide by its norms.

“Even outside the authority area, if a structure has been permitted without following requisite norms, it will be at risk and the buyers could also land in trouble. Therefore, they should do some realty check first,” said vice-chairman of the authority Deoranjan Kumar Singh.

Block development officers used to issue building permissions for multi-storeyed structures in areas such as Patia, Kalarahanga, Sundarpada and along the NH-203 connecting Puri with Bhubaneswar. While places such as Patia and Kalarahanga were included later in the authority fold, other areas were not till July 16.

But, how many permissions were given by the officers outside the authority plan area?

Singh said there was no record of such structures outside the old authority plan area. “Only on the outskirts the structures exist and once the state government issues a guideline for the expanded area as per Rule 103 of the ODA Act, we will be able to take action. The plan authority will also go for a quick comprehensive development plan (CDP) instead of the interim development plan. As CDP for the existing 419sqkm is already there, it will be easy for the rest of the area to follow that,” he said.

Senior member of the Real Estate Development Association Anup Mohapatra said: “The development authority should be aggressively going after those multi-storeyed structures that continue to work on the basis of the development officers’ permission. There are 25 huge apartment complexes under construction or nearing completion just outside the authority old plan area in the city.”

“Execution of the norms should be done with adequate authority and if needed local police station in-charges should be empowered to demand for a proper permission from the development authority. Otherwise, the cops should have the right to stop any construction activity. Even banks should also make it a point that unless a project is authorised by the development authority, house-building loans would not be issued,” Mohapatra said.

The former president of the association said: “Places beyond Dhauli are on demand for multi-storeyed flats for their below-the-average price tags. But, there is no possible help coming from fire fighters, sufficient groundwater, sewerage treatment plant, solid waste management and waste water disposal. Projects beyond Sundarpada are also facing the same difficulties.”

“The expansion of the authority plan area was mainly done to restrict the scope of block development officers granting permission. Their permission limit has now reached up to Delang in Puri and the border of Cuttack district. Earlier, the authority had issued a public notice so that the people could first enquire about approval or at least find out if building norms were being followed. For example, a 30-foot wide road can have a house of 45 feet height or four-storeyed structure and a multi-storeyed apartment complex should have a 60-foot road on the side. Even if the property is on the fringe area or outside the plan area, if the norms are followed, there will be no problem when the authority takes over the planning,” Singh said.

Gourav Kumar Das, who has bought a plot near Panchagaon, said: “After seeing the norms for multi-storeyed buildings, it is now safer to invest on plots even if it is at a distance from the heart of the city. If the authority can act strictly, permission by the block development officers can totally be banned.”

In fact, despite having a circular from the panchayati raj department that permission of BDOs had no meaning at all, some officials were allegedly granting permissions for multi-storeyed structures on retrospective basis.

“After the state government gave its nod to the authority expansion proposal on July 16, hundreds of multi-storied will be given permission by officers with retrospective effect,” said another association member.

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