Residents struggle to get Occupancy Certificates

It is a challenging exercise to buy a house in Bengaluru and even if one manages to buy one, it is equally tough to get an Occupancy Certificates (OCs) after it.

Pradeep and his wife's sole dream was to buy a flat in the city. After saving up for years, they finally bought a flat near Whitefield. But their happiness was short-lived as a situation came up where they had to sell their flat because of family issues. However, in order to sell a flat, possessing an OC is compulsory. Thanks to the slow functioning of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the couple has still not received the OC for their flat. Rendered helpless, they are neither able to sell their property nor keep it.

Several property owners in the city face a similar predicament.

Like the Golden Gate Property apartment complex in Kasavanahalli has about 220 flats. Though it was constructed five years ago, most of its flats have not received the OCs till now.

"The authorities demand Rs 68 lakh if we have to get an OC," said a resident of the area who did not wish to be named.

"When we asked the authorities why they cannot give us an OC, they questioned us back as to why we are worrying for not having an OC, as about 50% of properties in this area do not have one either," he complained.

Another apartment complex in Channasandra, Rajarajeshwari Nagar has 700 flats with eight to nine similar complexes in the same area. But none of these properties has OCs.

"We are required to have proper documents for our properties. The builder of the apartment complex at Channasandra has built many floors, violating the building plan. This is one of the reasons why the Palike has not given an OC. However, we have been paying property taxes," said another resident.

He also said that to get all the documents in order, some residents visited the BBMP office in RR Nagar. "One of the officers said that out of the 664 multi-storied buildings in the RR Nagar zone, only four have the OCs," he added.

According to the information on the BBMP's website, between 2013-14 to 2017-18, while 1,899 buildings have got their plans approved only 855 of them have received the OCs.

Govindaraju, director, Town Planning, BBMP said,"We give the OCs for ground+5 (floor) houses. It will be given in 15 days for all the houses that were constructed according to the building plan."

"In order to curb the rampant violation of building bye-laws, Akrama Sakrama is the only option," said Padmanabha Reddy, opposition party leader, BBMP.

Suresh Hari, vice-president, Confederation of Real Estate Developer's Association (CREDAI) said that it takes a maximum of six months to give OCs through the online portal. "A provision has been made to provide OCs online and we have also proposed the same to the authorities of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). The BBMP should work more on this so that the real estate sector booms in the city," he said.

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