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Builder of affordable houses has to pay for mandatory services: DTCP

This comes after homebuyers of affordable housing projects complained that developers are collecting upkeep fees ranging between Rs 2.50 and Rs 4 per sq ft from them in violation of the Affordable Housing Policy 2013.

The department of town and country planning(DTCP) has issued a public notice on maintenance charges in affordable housing societies, and sought suggestions and objections on the same.

This comes after homebuyers of affordable housing projects complained that developers are collecting upkeep fees ranging between Rs 2.50 and Rs 4 per sq ft from them in violation of the Affordable Housing Policy 2013.

The policy clearly spells out that no maintenance fees would be charged for five years from the grant of occupation certificates.

As per the public notice, all mandatory services to be provided by the developer include upkeep of all roads, open spaces, public parks, public health services, annual maintenance charges of the lifts, costs incurred on cleanliness of common areas, upkeep of parking space, and maintenance and running cost of sewage treatment plants (STPs).

The provision of electricity in common areas i.e., installation, upgrade and upkeep of electrical equipment in common areas, including electric poles, bulbs and lamps posts, and the expenses incurred upon the salaries of management staff and engineering manpower namely plumbers and electricians are to also be borne by the developer.

The developer should also maintain diesel generator sets for power back-up, however, the running cost (fuel) will have to be borne by homebuyers. The maintenance fees that can be charged from homebuyers include electricity bills as per consumption, water bills proportional to the net consumption and doorstep waste collection, according to the notice.

Any charges decided through bilateral agreement, including facility for security service, may also be charged by the developer, it said.

Senior town planner Sanjeev Mann said that this is a draft proposal on the maintenance charges levied in the affordable housing projects. “Any resident and developer can give their suggestions and objections on the same within 30 days. We have been getting regular complaints over disputes of maintenance charges. But once the proposal is approved, it will bring in more clarity.”

The residents, meanwhile, have welcomed the step.

Deepak Fialok, president of Federation of Affordable Housing Buyers Association and a resident of Pyramid Urban Homes, said, “The Affordable Housing Policy has been violated by all the developers blatantly. For five-year free maintenance by the developer, the government has allowed the commercial component of 4% and increased FAR at the time of sanctioning the project.”

“We have been raising this issue for a long time, and now the government has finally addressed our concern,” he added.

RK Jain, federation vice-president, said, “There are still few things which need more clarity before the proposal is notified. We will submit our suggestions and objections on the same.”

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