Several residents of Express Garden, a society in Indirapuram, are in a state of panic over the legal status of their homes.
Residents said there is no record of the society on the official website of Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) and no official deed of declaration (DOD) that recorded the apartment sizes.
The absence of these details is also the reason the society is yet to hold an AOA election. As per the UP Apartment Act, 2010, the number of resident votes allowed is decided according to flat sizes, with more votes allowed for bigger flats. Till 2013, the society had been conducting elections on the basis of one vote per flat. But after the adoption of the model by-laws of the Act, it became compulsory to hold elections according to flat-size-to-votes ratio. With no official document in place to record the flat sizes, the society has been unable to hold elections for the past four years.
Residents, however, are more wary about the legality of the flats and not the society’s elections. Nimish Gupta, a resident of the society, said most residents felt insecure as their flats did not exist in GDA's records.
Speaking to City Spidey, a member of the society’s current AOA whose flat is one among many not included in GDA’s list, said they had sought permission from GDA to conduct elections on the basis of one vote per flat but were refused as it would violate the provisions of the UP Apartment Act, 2010.
They also said that calls were made by residents to conduct elections on the basis of 536 flats that had an online record. But it could not be carried out, as that would leave out the 136 unrecorded flats from the election process.
However, KP Gupta, another resident of the society, said that he was aware he would not face any problems with his flat as it was a registered property. He, however, acknowledged that the absence of several flat details was barring residents from participating in the AOA election process.
Current AOA members said they were in a fix and have now been holding office since 2013. “Some members have resigned and we appointed new members according to the UP Apartment Act, 2010,” said an AOA member who requested anonymity.
City Spidey discussed the issue with Dayanand Prasad, OSD of GDA. He said the flats were not illegally built and did not violate the original plans of the society. Prasad clarified that the problem arose as the builder had divided larger units (4 BHKs) into smaller units (two 2 BHKs) and sold them separately. He explained that the problem was that whereas the builder had an approval for a 4 BHK flat, he now had two 2 BHK flats. However, Prasad ruled out the possibility of any other problem and accepted that it could cause issues with the society’s elections.
When asked about a plausible solution to the problem, Prasad said the issue required revision from the builder and GDA. “The issue will be checked, and necessary changes made, depending on their feasibility,” he added.
However, residents and AOA members of Express Garden filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) in Allahabad High Court in late 2016 and are awaiting a hearing on the matter.