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New Okhla eco zone plan spares Noida homebuyers

The Times of India, New Delhi, 8th September, 2014


Draft Largely Sticks To UP’s 100m Proposal ONoida: The hundreds of crores that homebuyers have invested in Noida are safe. The Centre’s draft of the redrawn eco-sensitive zone around the Okhla bird sanctuary doesn’t affect any realty project in the area, a highly placed official in the UP government said on Sunday. The draft proposes a noconstruction zone extending 1.27km from the sanctuary towards the DND flyway in the north but just 100 metres to its east, west and south. This is broadly what Uttar Pradesh had proposed. The MoEF asks states to declare eco-zones around wildlife sanctuaries. UP doesn’t comply On activist Amit Kumar’s plea to halt construction around Okhla bird habitat, National Green Tribunal issues notices to Centre, UP & Noida Authority UP forest department proposes to declare area within 1km radius of Okhla bird park as eco-sensitive process of notification, including objections being invited to the plan, will be completed in the next three months, the official said.


The area to the north of the sanctuary that has the largest swathe of the new eco-sensitive zone is “a rich natural habitat and covers NGT orders Noida to stop work without green nod within 10km radius of park UP revises proposal, reduces eco-sensitive zone to a 100-metre radius UP reiterates 100m proposal in letter to MoEF the Yamuna banks and green areas”, the official said. This spells huge relief for thousands of homebuyers who were thrown into uncertainty after the National Green Tribunal marked a 10km radius around the bird park as a restricted zone. As a result, occupation certificates of around 30,000 flats that were ready could not be granted while work in other projects slowed down. “We expect the final touches to the draft notification this week. Over the next 60 days, objections will be invited and heard. In the draft notification, no realty project comes within the ambit of the bird sanctuary’s eco-sensitive zone,” the official said. This was confirmed by other senior officials in Noida administration.


“By the end of this year, homebuyers should be in a position to register their flats,” the official added. Acopy of the notification will also be submitted to the NGT. The official also said the notification has been drafted keeping in mind guidelines of the Supreme Court and the interests of all stakeholders. New Delhi: Nine private companies stand to make a killing of over Rs 6,000 crore per year at the cost of existing generation stations if the government clears the power ministry’s proposal to give coal linkage — supply allotment from Coal India Ltd’s mines — to new and upcoming power projects stranded in the absence of fuel supply arrangements. The nine private power projects account for 10,580mw, and as government documents indicate, would corner over 24 million tonnes of domestic coal a year—enough to run a 5,000mw plant or feed Delhi’s demand.


They would get this coal at a price of Rs 1,500 per tonne notified by the government. Without government intervention, they would have to source coal from the open market – either import or buy in CIL’s e-auction – at roughly Rs 4,000 a tonne. The price differential works out to a benefit of Rs 6,085 crore per year. The total benefit over the 25-year life span of a power project would be Rs 1.52 lakh crore — a tad lower than the Rs 1.86 lakh crore windfall gains to private firms estimated in the CAG’s Coalgate report. The ministry’s proposal is aimed at preventing public and private investments, made to create 18,580mw generation capacity, from turning sour and triggering a nightmare for bankers. These are promoters whose mines have been de-allocated on various counts or are stuck in the CBI’s Coalgate probe.