New Norms Slow Down Property Registration

Published: April 6, 2011

Registration of property transactions has witnessed a steep decline in the capital after the state government made it mandatory to produce a building sanction plan and structural safety certificate as a prerequisite to any form of registry. In nearly all districts, the sub registrar offices have seen the number of registrations come down sharply. Some offices are witnessing registration of just 7 to 8 each day against the previous average of 100.

The Delhi government’s revenue department on March 30 issued an order banning registration of transactions of all structures not supported by sanctioned building plans or where sanctioned plans show major structural deviations. The government particularly looked at the cases where structural deviations were non-compoundable in nature. “Now the vendor and vendee are also required to furnish a certificate of structural safety issued by the competent authority ,” stated the order.

The decision was taken after a review showed unchecked growth of unsafe and unauthorized construction . The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Tejendra Khanna, in a review meeting held in January , emphasized the need for a special task force to crack down on land sharks and unauthorized construction. The issue of introducing stringent measures to focus on structural safety was also discussed . The March 30 order of the state came as a follow-up action to the meeting.

Since the order came into the force, the offices of the sub registrar’s , which witnessed frenzied activity earlier, have seen little business as most applicants still come without the requisite documents. In southwest district, nearly 80 to 90 property transactions were registered every day before the new norms were implemented . In comparison, only seven registrations took place at the officer on Monday. The number was 10 on Tuesday . In east Delhi too the situation is same. While earlier over 100 registrations took place, the number has now come down to 10 now.

According to sources, the problem lies in the fact that most properties that have sanction plans lack structural safety certificates as this was never asked for earlier. But now faced with this directive they are caught in a dilemma.

Ramesh Kant, a resident of Paschim Vihar, explains it. “My father built the house we live in. It is over 30 years old. Now we want to sell the house. But a visit to the registrar’s office has put us in a dilemma as they want a structural safety certificate. We have all other documents, including a sanction plan. Now who would give us a structural safety certificate for a 30 year old construction ? I want to sell it to a builder who would be demolishing it to rebuild on the land and I feel spending money on reinforcing the house to get a structural safety certificate may not be of much use,” said Kant. Others like him feel the intent is good but its execution didn’t take into account the ground reality and the practical problems.

The revenue department has written to the MCD , asking it to empanel more architects and engineers. Senior officials in the department said they had expected the registrations to come down after the directive. But with Delhi falling in seismic zone IV, the government can’t ignore the structural safety anymore, said an official.

Source: The Economic Times

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