Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority Chairman KK Khandelwal on June 20 directed homebuyers invested in Mahira's Sector 104 Gurugram project to continue paying further installments but homebuyers are reluctant as there is no construction currently underway at the site.
"Mahira's accounts have been frozen so they cannot withdraw money from those accounts. Buyers should continue to make payments in the dedicated accounts and their money will be used for construction. The project should be completed within four years of environment clearance," said Khandelwal.
The developer got environmental clearance for the Sector 104 project on April 27.
"We are deploying an officer as in-charge to monitor their bank accounts. Without his consent, there will be no withdrawals from the accounts. The officer will allow withdrawal only after getting the bills cross-checked by a third party to verify the work done at the site," the RERA chairman added.
Reacting to the claim by homebuyers that Mahira is asking for payments by cheque, Khandelwal said, "We are also directing Mahira to publish an advertisement in newspapers declaring their Master account and RERA account. The buyers will have to deposit money only into that account."
But buyers said it was shocking that RERA had asked them to make further payments despite there being no construction at the site. "Today we discussed with RERA whether we should make further payments to the builder or not and also about the case update. We are yet to get a clear response. It's shocking that RERA asked us to make further payments. There is no construction at the site so far and we are not in favour of making further payments. It appears that RERA is favouring the builder. We are confused as we don't trust the builder" said Shivam Verma, one of the buyers.
Another buyer, Rahul Gupta, said, "Since it's an affordable housing project, we got our flat in a draw. At that time, they had no Environmental Clearance. They are asking us to pay the next installment. Meanwhile, they have been blacklisted and cases by landowners are going on. We want the government to issue a direction for further payment to Mahira until the matter is resolved."
Another buyer, Rajat, who was present during the meeting with Khandelwal, said that multiple complaints had been made to the authorities but homebuyers are yet to get clarity about the construction. "We have paid 25 percent to the builder and the builder is calling us time and again to make payment of the next 12.5 percent. We don't want to pay because there is no clarity over the construction process," he said.
Association to be formed
Meanwhile, Khandelwal said that RERA would start a process to form an association of buyers of the Sector 104 project.
"We are starting the process to form an association of buyers for Mahira's Sector 104 project. Those who fail to fill out the forms will automatically become a member after the association is formed. Forming an association is necessary because if the association is legal, it can also take over the project to complete it if a need arises," said Khandelwal.
Commercial land to be attached
The buyers also told Khandelwal that they had made 25 percent of the payment and are concerned about their money. The RERA chairman then said that the authority would attach the 8 percent land area earmarked for commercial use as security for the homebuyers' payments.
"As far as construction is concerned, if Mahira wants to work, they should clear all the issues related to their projects and then start the work. We have already deputed a forensic auditor, who will audit Mahira's account to check how much money has been received from buyers and where they spent the funds. If there is any incident of siphoning off of the funds, we will initiate a separate action in that case. The forensic auditor will also evaluate the amount required to complete the project," said Khandelwal.
Several farmowners who gave their land to Mahira for the Sector 104 project alleged that Mahira had withdrawn all amounts from the accounts and neither made payments to them nor did construction work.
"We have given 10.83 acres of our land to Mahira for the Sector 104 project. The total cost was Rs 125 crore. The builder had to pay us Rs 42 crore as the first part of the payment but we are yet to get anything. We will not let anyone start construction at the site if we are not paid our dues. The government should have got an FIR registered against the developer but they did not. We will meet our lawyers tomorrow and shall register an FIR against Mahira," said Manoj Dahiya, one of the landowners who jointly gave their land to Mahira.
The HRERA chief said that 75 percent of the project cost amount will be used for construction as well as for clearing land dues.
Sector 68 project
Khandelwal also said that the authority would take over a Sector 68 project and complete it if required. We are ready to give an extension till March 2023 to Mahira to complete the Sector 68 project but first, they will have to sort out its license cancellation issue. The DTCP had revoked the license of the project last month.
In May, the Department of Town and Country Planning had blacklisted Mahira Buildtech and Czar Buildwell, accusing them of submitting fabricated bank guarantees and forged signatures of bank officials. The Sector 104 project is being built by the Czar Buildwell.Mahira Infratech, Mahira Buildtech and Sai Aaina Farms are all part of Mahira Group.