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HUDA, HADA, CDA, DTCP, MCH, MUNICIPALITIES, PANCHAYAT-CONFUSED?!
HUDA, HADA, CDA, DTCP, MCH, MUNICIPALITIES, PANCHAYAT What is the Difference? Who Should give Building / Layout Permission?
26.03.07 Exclusive Ventures, Hyderabad
Most people are confused with so many agencies involved in approval of layouts and buildings! What is the legal requirement with regard to approval? IS HUDA Approval necessary for construction houses? Here is a lowdown, on all your unanswered queries!

1. JURISDICTION

Lets first understand the difference between Town Planning Agencies (HUDA, HADA, CDA, DTCP) and Local Revenue Authorities (MCH-or Greater Hyderabad, other Municipalities, Mandals & Panchayats).

Town Planning Agencies are a wing of Govt. which do not have any ability to collect taxes. Their job is to prepare Master Plan for areas under their jurisdiction, Give approval for land utilization for various purposes, Give Building and Layout Approval, propose urban development projects and execute such projects directly or through the local authority.

To help decentralize approval process, these Planning Agencies have framed rules and have delegated certain powers to local revenue authorities. We will review this separately.

The town planning agencies (HUDA, HADA, CDA, DTCP) have exclusive control in specified areas. For example, if a certain village is under HUDA, then HADA, CDA, DTCP has no right to verify any work related to that village. Similarly if a Village is under DTCP, HUDA has no right to handle any matter related to that Village.

In effect, HUDA approval is possible only for land which falls under the jurisdiction of HUDA. It's the same for HADA, CDA and DTCP too. They can have control and approval rights only on land,which is under their jurisdiction.

The matter of jurisdiction is simple and obvious, but several members keep asking why a particular layout has only DTCP Approval and not HUDA approval. Hope above explanation would lay to rest doubts regarding this matter.

2. Conversion of Land ....Read Q&A and View Conversion Certificate

The Town Planning Agencies (HUDA, HADA, CDA, DTCP) have the authority to develop and update Master Plans for area under their jurisdiction. Master Plans are important documents. Master Plans identify the "usage" for which land is to be used. For example, Residential, Industrial, Agricultural etc.

They do update Master Plans and bring more areas in residential zones, as time pass. If the acres you have purchased, is in Agricultural Zone and you would want to construct a residential layout, then you need to convert "land usage" from Agricultural to Residential, by paying conversion Fees. Once conversion is complete, the survey numbers are marked "Residential" under Master Plan.

If a Survey number is already residential, you can definitely go ahead and construct homes, provided you take required layout / building permission from concerned authority.

For conversion of land for layout etc, you need to apply to the concerned Planning Agency. They will review whether your request can be accepted and then forward the same to Mandal Revenue Officer under whome the village falls. The MRO will verify whether the you have obtained permission from Panchayat to set up residential layout. If yes, MRO would give permission for conversion, after necessary fees is paid. The Planning Agency would then update the computer system in which survey number wise record of land usage is stored; it will also update Master Plan, in due course.

Incidentally, its reported in News papers recently, that DTCP had given approval for several layouts without conversion. If this is true, it's a really shameful. When people purchase plots in a Residential Layout approved by DTCP, its presumed that the plots ARE residential.

How can a plot be "agricultural" in revenue records, when layout itself is approved as "residential layout" by DTCP. Before approval, as per regulations, DTCP has to scrutinize conversion certificate issued by MRO. It's the duty of DTCP to incorporate the conversion status in Master Plan. Developer has to pay necessary conversion fee and development charges to concerned Municipality or Panchayat and then obtain Conversion Certificate from MRO and submit to DTCP.

If the News Paper reports are correct, there is definite foul play. We can protect ourselves in this matter only by insisting for copy of conversion certificate issued by MRO, from the Developer.

If land is not converted, then for all practical purposes, it remains a Farm Layout. Why should we pay more than double the rate for unconverted land, when Farm Plots are available, cheap, nearby? If a developer disapperas after selling plots without converting plots, in the so called "Residential Layout", then DTCP and Govt can in future ask the plot owners to convert land and regularize layout. Its going to be a big headache at that time. The MRO will ask for Panchayat Resolution agreeing to the layout, land documentation etc. Its best left to developer to handle all this and he has to do conversion before approval by DTCP. And that is percisely why we are paying extra premium for a "Residential Layout" 3. Layout Approval

A layout can be approved only by the concerned town planning agency (HUDA, HADA, CDA or DTCP as the case may be). However, the layout has to be recommended by the local revenue authority, that is Panchayat or Municipality. The Panchyat /Municipality involved has to pass resolution confirming their agreement for development of the layout. They are supposed to do this after physical verification / survey of the land/ scrutiny of land ownership documents. The recommendation has to be submitted to the town planning agency together with layout plan and ownership details and link documents for the land.

The Town planning agency will ask for land conversion to be done. This has to be done through the Mandal Revenue Office by paying prescribed fees.

When town planning agency gives approval, they go into detailed ownership assessment and type of land and hence an Approval by Town Planning Agency would ensure authenticity, which Panchayat Approval lacks. (Except that the news Paper Report is unnerving. If the Govt. Agencies, who are supposed to ensure that developers follow all rules and regulations, themselves act like petty thieves, we have to take it on ourselves and insist to see documents like Land Conversion Certificate and Gift Deed (explained below). Let's hope the Govt. would act and pull up agencies like DTCP.

Before Final approval is given, the Town Planning Agency has to ensure that the Developer hands over internal roads and open areas like Park, to the Local Authority. (ie. Concerned Panchayat or Municiplaity). This has to be accomplished by the Developers by way of a Registered Gift Deed, gifting such public amenities to the local Authority. Its anybody's guess whether this is really being done. If DTCP is lax enough to give Approval without conversion, where is the question of their getting developer to Gift Land, to Panchayat?

When Panchayat layouts are made, in agricultural land, developers do not normally apply for conversion of land. If land is converted in revenue records, then in our opinion, Panhayat Layouts are fine for residential use, as long as legal aspects of the land is clear and its not Govt land, Assigned land etc, and they are built as per prevailing town planning rules. There could be issue of regularization later, by payment of fees. However, its always preferable to go for plots in layouts with approval by concerned town planning agency. Consider Panchayat Layout only if the deal is very good and location is fantastic and there is no chance of any public road etc to be built through the layout. A look at the area Master Plan would show whether any such public amenities are planned.

It may be noted, that for Farm Land Layout, approval is not handled by Town Planning Agencies as of now, since there is no conversion of land, involved. Panchayat will give approval. Land remains Agricultural in Revenue Records. You can construct Farm homes as per prevailing regulations.

If the land itself is legal, patta land, there is no way that any agency can object to your construction, in your land. I am sure you can ask any agency who objects to your constructing in your land, to go to hell, as long as you are constructing in accordance with prevailing rules with required approval. No one can stop you from getting approval, either, as long as land has clean legal history.

But if a layout has been presented for approval to a town planning agency and they have refused approval due to various reasons (primary issue in such cases would be original ownership or type of land would be a matter of suspect), then they may instruct the registrar NOT to register any plots in the layout. Also they would instruct local authority NOT to give building permission.

There are hundreds of old layouts in Hyderabad, which are stuck like this with developers selling plots and then vanishing, without resolving issues. Decision of town planning agency to block registration and construction in whole of the layout, is definitely arbitrary since the whole layout may not have legal issues. Part of the layout could still be perfect. However, the town planning agencies are insensitive to this and the only way is to fight them through the legal system, which could be a long drawn process.

HOWEVER, this issue do not generally affect new layouts, since the town planning agencies are supposed to give preliminary approval ONLY after legal verification of land and ownership of land. (However there can still be cases, as follows which can jeopardize final approval.)

1. A developer obtains prelim approval for certain piece of land and then he fraudulently adds on extra acers and then asks for final approval.
2. Another issue could be disputes among promoters and land owners which surface after prelim approval with one of the parties petitioning the Authority/Court.

4. Residential Building Permissions

The building approval powers are with Own Planning Agencies. To enable faster and decentralized approval process, certain powers have been delegated to local Authorities. For example respective Panchayat or Municipality is given the power to approve building plans upto Ground + 2 floors (To Get more space Builders make Parking in Stilt and raise 3 floors above that). So if you are building a house, you need to go to concerned Panchayat or Municipality, only. Above 3 Floors (More than 10 Meters), approval has to be sought from the Town Planning Agency. DTCP has several Regional Offices which will give approval for larger Buildings.

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