More than 100 disgruntled homebuyers of a cancelled housing project on February 26 congregated at the Gaur City roundabout in Noida extension to discuss the way forward for refund of their investments in the project.
In 2012, around 150 people had booked houses in Sky Walk, a proposed housing project in Sector 12, Greater Noida (West). Value Infra-build, a private real-estate company, had launched the project in 2011. In January, 2017, Greater Noida Authority, the land owning agency, withdrew the plot allotment from the builder for failing to pay the plot-allotment fee despite several notices from the Authority. As a result, the project got cancelled. Homebuyers alleged that post that, the builder had gone into hiding.
Some homebuyers blamed the Authority for letting the builder get away after duping the homebuyers. Upendra Pandey, who booked a flat in Sky Walk, said the homebuyers felt cheated. "The Authority should have carried out proper background checks before allotting the plot to the builder," said Pandey.
Pawan Agrawal, another Sky Walk homebuyer, reiterated Pandey's opinion. He also alleged that the Authority was hand-in-glove with the builder. "The background checks could have also been carried out after the plot was allotted," said Agarwal. "After finding out the builder's financial incompetence, the Authority should have warned homebuyers not to invest in the project through a public notice. Instead, the Authority kept mum for five years and one fine day just cancelled the project."
Anil Kumar, another disgruntled homebuyer, said if the plot was to be cancelled, the Authority should have done so shortly after the builder had opened booking in 2011. "Not just that," added Kumar. "The Authority did not even initiate any action against the builder despite several complaints made by us. We homebuyers are suffering for no fault of ours."
Homebuyers present at the meeting decided to mount pressure on the Authority to refund their investments with interest. Abhishek Kumar, president of Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA), said if the Authority did not comply with their demand, they will drag both the Authority and the builder to court.
Homebuyers of other housing projects such as Palm Court, and projects by Amrapali and Supertech, were also present at the meeting. They raised the issue of delay in possession and demanded that builders should compensate buyers for delay in completion of projects. They said these issues will be discussed with the Authority as well.