Thursday, March 30, 2017

Illegal Constructions & Vikram-Vetal Stories!

The trouble when you're doing something illegal is that you know what you're doing. You're lying to your parents; you're lying to your kids. The only person you can't lie to is yourself”… Tommy Chong.
Thomas B. Kin Chong is a Canadian-American comedian, actor, writer, director, activist, and musician; they should have added thinker also as his above quotes says it! Well, when the topic is illegal the real estate is the first thing which comes to the minds of most, especially common man & media! And if you are regular follower of news paper then every next week you will be entertained with this subject i.e. illegal construction! This reminds me relation of famous Raja Vikramaditya & Vetal in stories which entertained us in childhood. There was a condition put by Vetal that whenever Vikram will speak after the story then the Vetal will flee away from his shoulders but if Vikram doesn’t speak then there was a curse that his head will get broke in hundred pieces, so at the end of the story told by Vetal, Vikram has to speak to reply Vetal’s question & with that famous laugh Vetal used to flee & again we used to get ready for next story of Vikram & Vetal! Same is here with real estate, illegal construction & our Mai Baap Govt as every day we see same story repeating with all characters in position! Now don’t ask who is Vikram & who is Vetal here as that doesn’t matter, the role keeps on changing but the story of illegal construction continues from one page to another is the fact! 

On this background last time’s victim of the story was Hon. Shrikar Pardeshi who was then PCMC’s Commissioner & with different govt in power. But as I said actors keep on changing in our illegal story but characters are same. As the present govt also is hell bent to give life to all so called illegal construction & it need scapegoat to sacrifice, so this time it’s Mr. Tukaram Mundhe, New Mumbai Commissioner who is supposedly under the guillotine. Unfortunate part is only the people who are honest with their duty are the one who wants illegal constructions to be demolished as every other entity which is associated with illegal constructions wants it to protect them as then all are in win-win situation! First let’s see why everybody is happy with illegal construction as by now even a school going kid in the State knows what is illegal construction but our dear govt isn’t clear what is legal & what is illegal when its real estate! There also govt has come up with a sugar coated terminology i.e. illegal constructions that can be regularized & then some which can’t be regularized! Wow, I am amazed, as who is the authority to decide which constructions can be regularized & which can’t; this again the Mai Baap govt only to decide! But in this country there live some nasty people who can’t digest happiness of the people living in these so called illegal buildings nor revenue the govt is getting, profit the illegal construction companies, happy voters the politicians getting & it’s such people who file complaints in the courts which also shows no sympathy for any of above entities & asks govt to demolish these buildings ruthlessly! Now which govt (means some political party) can afford to make their voters homeless & make their financers sustain so huge losses by demolishing these thousand of buildings which are on prime lands in Metros like Pimpri Chinchwad, New Mumbai, Thane & many such!

Now please don’t ask the foolish question who allowed to build these illegal construction, what was govt agencies which are supposed to check them were doing while these buildings were being built over a period of time. Even don’t ask why the residents of these buildings booked their flats in such buildings which has no proper sanctions as reason is obvious these poor people desperately needed a home which wasn’t possible with the high rates in so called legal buildings so the settled for something which is way cheaper than sanctioned buildings & they have been assured by their builders as well local leaders whom they have voted that it will be regularized in due course so they were convinced that they are not doing anything wrong. And yes even don’t ask how these flat buyers in so called illegal buildings got home finance in such buildings as in this country everything is possible, isn’t it? As the way these illegal buildings got electric supply, water supply, drainage connections or telephone lines, same way they got home finance too! In some cases even the civic body has started collection property taxes also from the residents of such buildings, so what even if there is violation of FSI norms in the construction or the said building has been build on some reservation land! Up to until the needy poor people of society are getting homes, leaders are having happy voters & govt along with builders are getting revenue all is well. All this goy disturbed by some fools Public Interest Litigation filed against illegal constructions  & sad part the Hon Court has not only upheld this petition but every day passing some awkward order against the govt to demolish all such buildings.

You will wonder how a builder is saying all this but like the govt itself has defined two categories of illegality there are two types are builders too. One are fools like me who waits till they get every sanction, pays all dues to such extent that even if the PMC/PCMC has made any mistake on their own while calculating any premium then we pay interest on that amount also as the said body realizes their mistake while giving occupations certificate & charges me interest on this difference amount & I too pay it smilingly as I am a law abiding builder. And then there is another category of builders which are smart & who doesn’t waits to obtain any sanction neither requires any zoning or road widening or structural stability certificate but directly starts building their building & finishes in fastest way & makes their clients happy by giving possession! May be it’s these builders & their buildings which later are tagged as illegal by some nasty citizens & which is upheld by the courts, what a shame! I really wonder why we need a court to give order to demolish illegal construction as the very same system which makes every effort to save this illegality but when it’s some white collared common man’s single storied bungalow, the system is eager to serve him fine or stop work even if by mistake his sand for the construction flows on adjoining footpath!

And on this background & that is illegal construction by the sanctioning body itself! Many might have been following a news series about a PIL filed by Baner (a happening & smart western suburb of PMC i.e. Pune) citizen. It’s says PMC is not in capacity to provide even basic infrastructure like water or drainage to many of new buildings which has come up in recent past in Baner & same is situation in many newly merged suburbs of Pune as well PCMC. Now the court is saying why they should not ban PMC to sanction new proposals in these areas if it is unable to provide infrastructure to the residents? On this, I have a doubt; if a developer doesn’t give any basic living infrastructure to any building then it is illegal. So what we should call such buildings where govt agencies themselves given sanctions, collected premiums from developers as well property tax from the residents but points finger to developers itself for providing these amenities? Isn’t this is more than just illegality rather if any developer commits something to the customers & doesn’t give it the under RERA he will be imprisoned, so what we should do to such sanctioning authorities?

Not only such behavior makes common man to go to court for justice but all such publicity gives very negating image in the minds of common home buyer as he is confused whether his money will be safe if he buys a home in any new project as the legality itself is in doubt! Here I am sharing one classic example of my own where my customer has mailed us about future of our project around Baner area, it will clearly indicate the impact of miscommunication or mismanagement amongst our so called smart city’s managers!...


What should be our reply on today's news.
Client has booked in sangam II & will be proceeding for agreement in this week.


-----Original Message-----
From: Sachin Wad [mailto:]
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2017 11:27 AM
To: Sales
Subject: Today's news in Sakal

Hello Pallavi Madam,
I am a bit worried after reading this news in Sakal paper today. The court has questioned municipality for sanctioning schemes in Baner and Sus where basic infrastructure facilities (water line, roads, drainage line etc) are not yet setup or provided by Municipality. The news is on 1st and 10th page.

Will you please kindly help me understand its probable impact on the scheme and our investment?

Many Thanks
Sachin Wad

dear sachin,
Regarding your mail about news in media regarding a case between PMC & Amol Balwadkar (who has filed PIL) for water supply as well basic civic amenities & stand of high court, here is something.... 

I can understand your anxiety about such news  but the case is between residents of completed projects in PMC limit & PMC as PMC charges heavy premiums to the developers along with development charges which are collected under the name of infrastructure & on top of it property tax which the residents has to pay & it comes nearly 1500/- per month for a 2 bhk flat & against all these charges PMC is supposed to provide basic facilities like water, drainage & roads to the residents which comes under PMC jurisdiction. And at present PMC isn’t providing any such facility in many areas especially some parts of baner balewadi area so the residents has gone to court.

At Sangam, we doesn’t come under PMC  & we don’t have to pay any premium neither any such heavy property tax is applicable & that’s why above news is not applicable to Sangam or any location out of PMC area!  We are governed by PMRDA i.e. pune metropolitan regional development authority & our plans are also sanctioned by them only. Above case is filed against PMC & it’s only for the projects which PMC sanctions rather I am already writing an article about this, will share the same with you after its complete. So you be relaxed for legality of Sangam as not only our proposal has been sanctioned but we have received occupation certificate. Even in the news Hon High Court has commented on new projects in PMC limit & not about any existing projects so you are safe as well those who even are booking their home in completed projects in PMC area too!

Hope that clears your quarry! Plz feel free for any clarification via call or email.


Thank you Sir,
I appreciate a detailed clarification and it does answer my query. The news did not categorically talk about who exactly is impacted and in which manner. Usually Hon High Court decisions are considered as exemplary which may extend to other cases as well and hence was little worried earlier. But now it is clear and I am good.

Many Thanks!

Sachin Wad’’

I think entire above conversation speaks the way common man reacts to such news in media & its damaging to already in trouble real estate industry. This also emphasize importance of being aware of current affairs related to real estate & be available to such clients & speak clear to him as that’s why I was able to retain the clients booking as well his trust or confidence which is more important for us!

And then one more illegality in real estate is there, in the form of changing policies! In my another case where we have got all sanctions as well infamous NA order also which is like "Sim Sim" word for real estate & entered in nearly two hundred plus agreements. We have simultaneously applied for Environment Clearance where the lower committee has approved our proposal but till our proposal went for the authority i.e. upper committee, the said committees duration was over & it took nine months to new committee formation & our work was held up due to just one reason as no committee in existence to give us the said EC. And there were nearly hundred plus such proposals, so what we call this but illegality by the Mai Baap govt itself & what we are going to do about it? Now in this project who will bear the interest for nine months delay but the flat holders & what’s their fault if they book their home with a Smart Builder who doesn’t wait for EC & starts the work as committed & give possession that too at much cheaper rate than booking with a legal fool like us!

It’s not that entire system including Hon CM hold charge of urban development are supporting for illegal constructions but somewhere something is wrong since long is a fact. The local bodies like municipal corporations are keener on sanctioning processes than curbing the illegal construction & reasons may be insufficient staff to not having police backup for doing so. As most of the time these constructions are in with nexus of local so called leaders & the concerned junior officers are afraid to rub them on wrong side. Here a separate police task force with full authority as well enough in numbers must be provided to all the local civic bodies; with home dept which controls police force also with Hon CM that should not be a problem. Then with due respect the lower courts grants stay to stop work notices as well action  to most of these illegal construction for very minor flaws in the system is also another hurdle in curbing these construction in time. And till the matter goes to higher courts it’s too late & impractical to demolish such buildings is equal fact.

On one side we talk about ease of doing business & on other side we regularize illegal constructions which in actual is outcome of difficulty of doing the business of real estate! Till we doesn’t come up with development plans in time & make as well implement policies which are clear even for common man to understand & enforce them with ruthless attitude, illegal constructions won’t stop. And many will wonder the use of term ruthless but the sanctioning or governing system is ruthless only when it knows the opposite person is helpless & respect for the law. The very same system becomes very soft for the person (read as builder) who knows which button to press & away by breaking every existing law! When I say ruthless then it should be applying the stick to everyone who is making illegal construction despite his or her position or connections with people in power! Unless & until we won’t work on that front some honest officers will keep on getting transferred untimely, High Courts will keep screaming against builders, Mai Baap Govt will keep on protecting illegal constructions under name of its shelter for the poor & the poor common man’s dream of his own legal home will ever remain as dream!

Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.

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