The moment the verdict of the Supreme Court on Amrapali housing projects was announced on Tuesday, a group of home buyers waiting for the judgment breathed a sigh of relief. Home buyers were elated, after winning the decade long battle.
More than 40,000 Amraprali home buyers who had spent their hard earned money were waiting for their flats for nearly ten years and every home buyer had a story to tell.
Shweta Bharti, who is among those who fought a long battle said that she had booked a flat in Amrapali Centurion Park in Greater Noida in 2011. She said that the battle begun when farmers, whose lands were acquired, approached the Supreme Court.
Sharing the experiences of her own battle, Bharti said, “Me along with some other home buyers visited the National Capital Region Planing Board, and after several rounds of meetings finally a master plan was approved by the Union Urban Development Ministry in 2012. After that the construction work started which however, was stalled after one year.”
Home buyers living in different areas of Delhi-NCR united and started visiting politicians, Amrapali group directors etc, however, every time they had to return empty-handed. Bharti added, “Fed up with no result, despite all the efforts, we decided to come on the roads.” She further added, “I was the first women who walked with men and participated in protests. Later many women joined us.”
KK Kaushal, another home buyer said, “After visiting politicians we realised that no one was paying heed to the issues of the home buyers. A 50-day long hunger strike was launched out side the Amrapali office in Noida. We did not get any response from the government, but got media attention. Finally, we moved court and got the verdict today.”
Home buyers’ battle against Amrapali group continued and they started their protest in Noida and Greater Noida, but they reached the national capital roads soon. In the mean time, an association was formed by a group of both flat buyers and flat owners – Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA). This association approached Supreme Court in December 2017.
Abhisek Kumar, president of NEFOWA said, “The court accepted our plea and from the beginning of the case the court observed that home buyers were cheated. After apex court directed for an investigation against Amrapali group directors, they were sent to jail and we won our first battle. Now, after today's verdict and pleas of home buyers, an organised fraud of Banks, Noida and Greater Noida Authorities and Amrapali group was exposed in the court. Now the court has directed NBCC to complete the projects and we are hopeful that projects will be completed under supervision of the court.”
Ritesh Singh, an advocate by profession who booked a flat in Amrapali Dream Valley in Greater Noida West said, “Its good that ownership has been taken from the Amrapali group and given to NBCC. Undoubtedly, today’s judgment is a win-win situation for all home buyers. However, I am worried as home buyers have been asked to pay their remaining dues within one month. Its won’t be easy for home buyers to pay the amount within this stipulated time. We require clarity on this issue.”
“The verdict is out but as an advocate I would say that it will take some more time to get clarity on the matter as the court would require time to complete legal process. I personally believe, if all goes well then it will take at least six months to start work on the projects,” Singh concluded.