The Allahabad High Court has directed Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) to not issue any completion certificate (partial/complete) to Saya Gold Avenue, an upcoming residential project opposite Shipra Mall in Indirapuram, till the next date of listing.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the residents’ welfare association (RWA) of Suntower, a high-rise in Shipra Suncity, against GDA and Saya Homes Pvt Ltd, the developer of Saya Gold Avenue. The petition alleged that Saya has violated the norms of floor area ratio (FAR) and resorted to illegal construction on a green belt in front of Suntowers.
The RWA had alleged that Saya illegally increased the FAR of the project after purchasing the land from Shipra Estate Limited (SEL), the developer of Shipra Suncity. It had further claimed that the original map of 2005 was altered twice — in 2013 and again in 2015 — to accommodate the increased FAR.
“Earlier, there were two 12-storeyed buildings on the site of Saya Gold Avenue Project. Once Saya purchased the land, it covered the entire land and raised FAR by 300%. Saya built eight 37-storeyed towers, leaving no land for the green belt,” the RWA alleged.
The RWA alleged that the rise in FAR came with a range of problems for the residents of the area. The gigantic building of Saya, triple the height of Suntowers, has blocked sunlight and wind for the residents of the society and also depleted the groundwater by hundreds of feet.
“Besides, the green belt was meant for us. While purchasing the flats in Suntowers, the SEL had charged extra amount from the resident who chose the flats facing the green belt and Shipra Mall. However, the land in front of our society was later sold to Saya who started developing its residential project on the land. Neither SEL nor SAYA sought our consent for it,” said Laxmi Chand, general secretary of the RWA.
Initially, after noticing the change in FAR, the residents had approached GDA. However, when they did not get any satisfactory response from the authority, the RWA had filed a writ in the Allahabad High Court in 2015. “The authority is hand in gloves with SEL and Saya,” Chand alleged. “In this case, they have snatched away the open green areas of Suntowers residents just because they have earned 168 crores from the sale. How could they allow such blatant violation of the law?” he asked.
However, their writ was turned down by the HC after which, the RWA went to the Supreme Court who remitted back the case to the HC in 2017. After hearing the case, the HC had appointed a three-members court commission to verify the allegations.In its report, the court commission had confirmed that as per the original map of 2003, the FAR was 1.5 which increased to 2.265 in the map of 2013. “The increase in FAR was majorly utilized for the construction of Saya Gold Avenue Towers As accordingly, 152 units as per 2005 map were increased to 1716 units in the map of 2013. Undoubtedly, the additional FAR has been utilized by Saya Gold not on (basis of) their area of land but on (basis of) total area of plot no. 10 (Shipra Suncity),” the report said.
Meanwhile, speaking on the larger implications of the case, SK Pal, lawyer of the RWA, said that the case would act as a deterrent against the malpractice of altering the original maps for GDA and other development authorities in UP. “It is becoming a malpractice by development authorities to alter the original maps and increase FAR after the allotments have been made and substantial money is collected on the basis of marketing brochures based on the original maps. Hope it ends through this case,” he said.
As per the UP Apartment Act 2010 and RERA, alteration of the original plan after the allotment is prohibited without the consent of the allottees. “However, the development authorities, take help of government orders which are not applicable on underdevelopment projects to eclipse the law and help private developers earn windfall profit and delay the projects,” Pal added.