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UP realty watchdog adopts satellite mapping to monitor illegal construction

Virendra Singh Rawat/Lucknow 17 May 19 | 05:44 PM

Uttar Pradesh real estate watchdog has introduced the technology of satellite mapping to monitor illegal and dubious realty projects in the state.

UP Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has engaged Remote Sensing Application Centre (RSAC) for inspection of construction sites within 10 km of the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) limits in Lucknow and adjoining Barabanki districts with the help of satellite data.

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In fact, RSAC has already completed 40% of the mandated satellite mapping work, which has been undertaken as a pilot, and the final report is likely to be submitted by June-end 2019.

RSAC was established in 1982 by the UP government as an autonomous body with the objective of using the technology of aerial and satellite remote sensing with conventional methodologies in different natural resources management projects.

Since, RERA is flooded with complaints relating to real estate projects, which are not registered with the Authority, the regulator is now taking steps to provide succour to home owners/investors in such realty projects, which fall outside the ambit of development authorities.

According to RERA chairman Rajive Kumar, the Authority received about a 1,000 complaints in respect to projects beyond the purview of the planning areas/development authorities, especially in Lucknow and Barabanki, pertaining to non-implementation of projects or promoters having fled with investors’ money.

While RERA cannot extend relief to buyers unless the project is registered with the Authority, Section 3 of the RERA Act provides that the Authority could, to protect the interest of buyers, direct a promoter to register in RERA, even those projects which fall outside the ambit of the planning area.

However, the project needs to be registered with RERA only if the layout plan of the project had been approved by the concerned local authority or the district panchayat in most cases.

Kumar underlined the need to bring bylaws of the respective district panchayats at par with development authorities, so that such real estate projects could get necessary clearances as well. The state panchayati raj department has also agreed to facilitate the same going forward.

Meanwhile, satellite mapping has also been initiated in some states, such as Maharashtra to curb illegal constructions and provide succour to home buyers in case the builders default on their promises.

Last year, the Maharashtra government had informed the Bombay High Court that it was applying satellite mapping technology to identify illegal constructions in 170 cities, while the state's RERA planned to employ a similar system to keep a check on illegal construction.

Earlier, UP RERA had rejected 3 dozen realty projects owing to factors, including incomplete promoter profile, invalid sanction letter/maps, non furnishing of land lease payment details etc. Maximum 13 realty projects have been rejected by the panel in Lucknow, followed by 9 projects in Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida).

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