Builders Flouting EWS Norms To Land In Trouble

Builders would face hefty fines if they do not set aside 15% space in their housing projects for the economically weaker sections (EWS). The ministry of housing has asked states to crack down on developers who violate EWS reservation. Repeated failure to implement the policy may also result in government taking back land allocated for such projects.

“It is UPA government’s policy to provide housing to the weaker sections of the society, and non-compliance will result in tough action from the government. Builders cannot go against the National Housing and Habitat Policy, which has made mandatory for them to set aside at least 10% for EWS construction,” a senior housing ministry official said.

According to the policy, at least 15% of land in housing projects or 20% floor area ratio (FAR), whichever is greater, has to be reserved for EWS/ LIG (low income group) housing. The Center has taken seriously to instances in states such as Karnataka, Delhi and UP where builders have flouted EWS norms. Therefore, it has directed states to enforce the reservation strictly.

According to officials, city municipal authorities would not permit developers to advertise their buildings or flats if the building plan does not have accommodation for poor. Apart from EWS allocation, necessary building bye-laws and lay-out clearances by registered architects have to be in place before the builders can advertise their properties.

Apart from pursuing the mandatory EWS housing, the ministry has also asked the finance ministry to direct nationalized banks to lend EWS families funds at lower rates to buy houses. The ministry has said the poor should be charged 5% below the prevalent market rate.