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Chintels Paradiso still await 'order of settlement' with builder; urge authorities to expedite the process

Residents are demanding either good enough compensation to buy a comparable apartment in the same or similar location, or give them new flats at the same site.

Residents of Chintels Paradiso, a housing complex in Gurugram, where a portion of tower D had collapsed in February last year killing two persons, claim that the district administration is yet to issue the “order of settlement” to finalise the liabilities of the builder with the residents.

Residents said that the timeline to settle the dues with the builder was 60 days from the date of issuance of demolition order of tower D, which has already passed.

The district administration, had on November 9 last year, ordered demolition of tower D of the society after it was found unfit for habitation. The demolition order had also noted that the builder will have to settle the dues with the residents within 60 days.

Rakesh Hooda, President of the Chintels Paradiso Resident Welfare Association (RWA), told Moneycontrol that there has been no progress in the direction of settling the dues of the residents who have been evacuated from tower D.

“The deadline to settle the dues and liabilities of the affected residents have passed but there has been no progress on this front so far. Neither the administration has issued the ‘order of settlement’ nor the builder has connected with us to settle our claims, even as the period of 60 days has passed. This is highly insensitive on the part of the concerned authorities,” Hooda told Moneycontrol.

He said that the residents have also sought time from the Gurugram district administration to discuss the issue.

Hooda said that the district administration should provide some clarity over the issue as residents who were evacuated from tower D are living on rent and are clueless about their future.

“We have two demands ― either compensate us well so that residents can buy an equivalent apartment in the same or similar location, or the affected residents should be given new flats at the same site after demolishing the existing structure,” Hooda said.

Calls and messages sent to Gurugram Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav were not answered.

A spokesperson of Chintels India said, “We are in touch with both the authorities and the residents and are fully cooperating with them.”

Currently, 28 families of tower D are living in rented accommodations in the same complex. The developer is paying them Rs 25,000 a month towards rental expenses for a three BHK flat, and Rs 37,000 for a four BHK unit. The 18-storied tower D has 50 flats.

Another resident of tower D, who wished to remain anonymous, said that he had bought his flat in the society in 2017 at a rate of Rs 6,700 per square feet (psf). But currently, the market rate for a similar unit in a similar complex in the neighbourhood is around Rs 12,000-15,000 psf.

“So, the compensation should be given to us as per current market rates. The process of settlement of our claims should be expedited, as so far there has been no movement on the matter despite the deadline having ended on January 9, 2023. The administration should take cognisance of our plight and get the issue resolved,” he said.

Also Read: Evaluation report to settle claims of Chintels Paradiso society to be reviewed, safety audit of towers to be conducted

On February 10 last year, the ceiling of several flats in tower D of the complex collapsed, killing two. Following the incident, besides police investigation, a probe was ordered into the matter and a team of experts from IIT-Delhi was asked to conduct a structural audit.

The final report of the safety audit was submitted to Deputy Commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav on November 8, 2022. Structural deficiencies were detected in the construction of the tower and it was also clarified in the report that “repair is not possible on technical and economic grounds”.

Following the structural audits and recommendations of the committee, the authorities recommended demolition of the tower in question, and evacuation of neighbouring towers E and F.

In the order, the builder was asked to settle the compensation-related matter with the homebuyers of tower D in 60 days.

The committee that was formed to probe the incident also had recommended time-bound settlement of claims of affected residents.

The committee had also empanelled two independent evaluators to ascertain the market value of the flats and also prepared an evaluation report.

“The committee recommends that the developer settle the claims with residents as mutually agreed upon in a time-bound manner and provide an undertaking in this regard. The value offered by the developer to flat owners of tower D should not be less than the evaluation done by the valuation agencies,” the evaluation report had observed.

In November 2022, the affected homebuyers of the Chintels Paradiso society, had moved the Supreme Court, demanding their flats be reconstructed at the same site or they be awarded “fair” compensation so that they could buy similar accommodation in the neighbourhood.

The apex court had issued notice to the builder to submit their response on the plea filed by the residents of the housing complex and had set January 6, 2023 as the next date of hearing.

The hearing was, however, adjourned on January 6 and a fresh date is yet to be issued by the Supreme Court.

Ashish Mishra
first published: Jan 12, 2023 07:19 am