A green jolt to buyers


The housing dreams of several buyers who have booked flats in the Greater Noida West area also called Noida Extension has now hit a green hurdle. The National Green Tribunal, in an order last week, has prohibited all developers from extracting underground water for construction and all other purposes in both Noida and Greater Noida.

The tribunal also observed that although guidelines have been duly notified by the Central Ground Water Authority to ensure no undue extraction of water, and that it can be only done while in compliance with several conditions, they have been violated with impunity.

The tribunal's order adds to the spate of controversies over housing construction in this area. The initial row had surfaced when a group of farmers challenged acquisition of their land and the Allahabad High Court ordered enhanced compensation, besides allotment of developed plots to them.

With the tribunal's order, the ban on ground water extraction has now virtually been extended to the National Capital Region. Last year, an order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court had banned the practice in Gurgaon.

Even as the impact of the order has not been felt immediately and the developers in the area are waiting till the next hearing, one thing is certain that the ultimate sufferers would be the end consumers, who would see costs escalating by around 15 per cent.

The Impact

The immediate impact of the ban will be increase in the cost of water in these projects but the consequences could be as serious as slowing down the pace of construction at these project sites.

The ban could increase the cost of water for these projects by around 200 per cent, which will have an impact on the cost of the flats available in this area.

"The cost of water for these projects is around Rs 10 per square feet, which will increase to Rs 30 per square feet and this cost will have to be passed on to the buyers. Also, this ban will impact the pace of construction and delay project completion, which ultimately leads to demand-supply mismatch and increase in prices," says Pankaj Bajaj, president of CREDAI NCR, an apex body of real estate developers.

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