Government responds by detaining the slogan shouters instead of addressing their longstanding issues.
On Saturday, thousands of buyers of different residential projects, such as Amrapali, Supertech, Earth, Jaypee and others, in Noida and Greater Noida demonstrated their anger against the BJP government both at the state and at the Centre. The protest took place outside the BJP office at Ashoka Road in New Delhi under the banner of Noida Extension Flat Owners’ Welfare Association (NEFOWA). The buyers were seen shouting slogans against the BJP government and many people were detained by Delhi police.
Abhishek Kumar, president of NEFOWA, told City Spidey that a large number of flat buyers were first detained near Patel Chowk Metro station, and then some more were detained outside the BJP office by Delhi Police. “Children and women were also kept in the police station for four hours,” he added.
Flat buyers said that during elections BJP candidates had promised home buyers of Gautam Budh Nagar all possible assistance in securing possession once they came to power. However, they added, the government has practically done nothing about it. “We have met the state and central minister several times and returned with only verbal assurances that have never manifested in deed. They have never cared enough to give us anything in writ,” a buyer lashed out.
He also added that now the buyers have no hope from this government, which has been unable to help people who invested money earned over a lifetime into different builder projects.
Ninety-four projects in Noida and around 190 projects in Greater Noida are stuck due to financial crunch. In a high-level meeting held in September this year, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered officials to ensure that 50,000 homebuyers of the Noida and Greater Noida areas in the national capital region (NCR) get possession of their property in the next three months. But nothing has happened in this regard till date.
The CM had earlier constituted a three-member committee of ministers comprising Suresh Khanna (Urban Development), Satish Mahana (Industry) and Suresh Rana (Sugarcane Development) to go into the problems being faced by home buyers.
There are 44 housing projects which are yet to obtain occupancy certificate in Noida and Greater Noida. But the builders are still to clear land dues required to be eligible to get occupancy certificates and offer possession to buyers.
Kumar also said that the primary grouse of buyers was the change in the definition of ongoing projects in the UP RERA. “The Central RERA says that a project is to be considered 'ongoing' until possession of flats start. However, the state RERA differs, saying that if a builder has applied for a completion or an occupancy certificate, the project will cease to be considered 'ongoing'. Noida and Greater Noida authorities have even issued both certificates to some projects without proper inspection.”
More than 2.5 lakh buyers in Noida and Greater Noida are still waiting for possession of flats despite it being three to four years overdue.
These are the specific demands that buyers highlighted at the protest outside the BJP office:
1. If construction work of any builder is delayed or stopped, the local government body should step in to complete it.
2. When complaints are lodged against builders, action should be taken by the authorities. Further, if the authorities slacken on this mandate, the government should take action on the officiating authorities.
3. The government should order the police to lodge complaints against developers at the behest of buyers.
4. Flat buyers have not received any benefits from RERA. On the other hand, many developers have posted misleading details about their projects on the UP RERA website. The government should check these details and take action.
5. A RERA office should be opened in Gautam Budh Nagar, as there are higher number of builder-buyer cases in the district than in other part of the state.
6. Banks should be instructed by the central or the state government to stall EMI collections until buyers get possession of their flats.