HYDERABAD: With the deadline for real estate projects to get registered as per the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act fast approaching, the RERA office is abuzz with registration activity.
However, a cursory look at the various projects that were registered under the RERA over the past few weeks reveals that most of them do not seem to hold fast to environmental norms. In other words, provisions for common areas, Sewage Treatment Plants (STP), water conservation measures such as constructing rainwater harvesting pits, and energy conservation steps have not been incorporated in the construction proposals.
While noted realtors operating in and around Hyderabad have adhered to the norms, less-known and small-time realtors have obtained occupancy certificates despite failing to accommodate mandatory environment-friendly measures in their projects.
“If environmental-friendly provisions are not incorporated in the project proposal, the building will not be given permission to be constructed. However, sometimes, certain projects can slip through our fingers and get clearance. Only after the completion of such projects can we take action and penalise the realtors,” said a RERA official. “Several government bodies must be held liable for granting occupancy certificates to projects that do not adhere to the norms,” he added.
All real estate projects that were approved on or after January 1, 2017, must get registered by May 31. The RERA is currently undertaking the registration of over 4,000 projects. A fine of Rs 3 lakh has been levied on all projects that have forgone the previous due date - November 30, 2018.
As per the guidelines issued by the Hyderabad Water Supply and Sewerage Treatment Board (HMWS&SB) and the GHMC, buildings spread over 300 square metres must have a rainwater harvesting pit.
However, many projects have not made provisions for the same. These include residential buildings from upmarket areas like Jubilee Hills. A project in Road number 20 of Jubilee Hills, for instance, does not have a rainwater harvesting pit in its proposal despite its area being 526.74 square metres.
In another case, a renowned project sprouting up in Cherlapally with more than 20 buildings spread across 6,637 square metres has not made room for solid waste management and a disposal facility, apart from forgoing stormwater drains and energy efficiency measures.
Environmentalists argue that the onus of overseeing adherence to environmental norms is on the regulatory authority. “Realtors should be penalised in such cases. Without provisions for energy efficiency, how can we keep up our word as per the Paris Climate Agreement? How can sustainable development goals be met without STPs?” asked environmentalist K Purushotham Reddy.