The Supreme Court has issued notices to Saya Buildcon and Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), asking them to respond to allegations that the two have colluded to increase the number of floors in its under-construction towers inside Shipra Sun City, Indirapuram. They have allegedly increased the number of floors from 12 to 34.
In an order issued on September 20, the SC asked them to respond within four weeks on the alleged illegal construction of 34-storeyed towers in Saya Gold Avenue.
The order was in response to a petition filed by residents of Shipra Sun Tower, which is right opposite Saya Gold Avenue in the township. The residents have pleaded that after living in the area for more than a decade, problems cropped up in 2014 when they learnt that the builder had sought bookings for 34-storey towers.
Laxmi Chand, president of the Sun tower RWA, told City Spidey that the residential buildings of Saya Gold Avenue were originally planned for only 12 storeys, but midway the builder changed plans and got permission from GDA for raising the number of floors almost threefold.
Chand said the residents, who would be directly affected by this change, were not consulted. "Such an increase in the number of residences in the area will only exert stress on the limited common facilities of the neighbourhood. Residents of the township are already facing the problems of sharing open areas, and choked sewer lines and drainage systems,” complained Chand.
In 2015, residents of Shipra Sun Tower had approached Allahabad High Court with a request to annul the allotment of additional Floor Area Ratio, or FAR — the ratio of the building's total floor area to the size of the land upon which it is built — granted to the builder by GDA. They had also requested that GDA be directed to not clear any new building plans for Saya Gold Avenue, as the developer was violating the provisions of UP Apartment Act, 2010.
However, High Court disposed the case saying the issue required further clarification, which included information on amenities available in the original plan and changes made to the new plan, which could not be resolved in a writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution.
With nowhere to go, residents knocked on the doors of SC in August. SK Pal, the lawyer for the petitioners, told City Spidey that the plan for the township was sanctioned in 2001, but it was only in 2014 that the neighbours learnt that the builder was accepting bookings for 34-storeyed buildings.
Ishtiyak Ahmed, chief town planner of GDA, told City Spidey that it had sanctioned the increase in the number of floors, and hence there was no question of illegality. He said the Authority would respond to the queries raised by the court.
Manoj Jain, director (Finance) of Saya Buildcon, told City Spidey that his company had not received any official notice from the court yet. "Construction is being carried out as per the plans sanctioned by GDA," Jain said
Alok Kumar, an Indirapuram-based social activist, said such changes in the sanctioned plans of residential societies were illegal as per Section 4/4 of the UP Apartment Act, 2010. "The development authorities should have been extra careful before taking such decisions, since it involved the life and well-being of many innocents,” Kumar said.