Moneycontrol
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Homebuyers celebrate 8th Diwali with no hope for a house in sight

Who will compensate us for the prime years of our lives lost, rue home buyers

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

Last week the Supreme Court turned down the request of directors of embattled real estate firm Amrapali to celebrate Diwali at home saying they had no such right as they had ruined the Diwali of thousands of home buyers.

"What about Diwali for 46,000 home buyers who gave you their life savings and hard-earned money for getting a home but they are suffering. They are suffering as they are paying both EMI and rent. Interest rates too are going up. You people would not understand their suffering. It is very difficult for buyers but you are only thinking about your Diwali. Forget celebrating Diwali and Holi until you come out with full disclosure," the apex court had rapped the promoters of the embattled group.

Moneycontrol spoke to a few buyers of projects across NCR who are celebrating their eight Diwali in rented homes, hoping that they would one day get their dream home.

buyer 3

Take the case of Sarika, who had booked a house in a Unitech project located in Mohali way back in 2010 after she was promised that possession would be given in a matter of 24 months. After having to struggle to pay EMIs on time for a home that is still to see the light of day, she rues the fact that she’s only been getting court dates and false assurances. "Who will compensate us for the prime time of our lives that we have lost?" she asks.

She has paid up almost 98 percent for the house – as much as Rs 49 lakh for a house that she bought for Rs 50 lakh. "We had to shift to NCR in search of job opportunities to tide over financial difficulties. We are now residing in Faridabad and paying a rent of Rs 25,000. Every month the salary goes into paying an EMI for a house that is nowhere on the horizon. Every Diwali we visit friends in their houses and we feel sad that we have nothing to call our own for absolutely no fault of ours. We have gone through enormous mental, financial and emotional agony. Who will compensate for all this?" she asks.

Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra is seeking interim bail from the apex court after the Delhi High Court on August 11 last year had rejected the plea in a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 home-buyers of Unitech projects' -- 'Wild Flower Country' and 'Anthea Project' -- situated in Gurgaon in Haryana.

buyer 1

Aaditya Gutgutia booked a 4BHK with Jaypee Group in August 2010. He is paying both an EMI and a rent of Rs 41,000 today. "Last year I managed to square off my loan. I have till date paid principal and interest amount close to a crore but the house is not ready yet. While the civil work is complete, plastering and common amenities are yet to be put in place. I am hoping that perhaps three years from now, I may get lucky to celebrate my Diwali in my new house."

The NCLT had on August 10 last year, admitted IDBI Bank’s plea to initiate insolvency proceedings against the JIL for defaulting on Rs 526-crore loan. While admitting the plea of IDBI Bank, the NCLT had appointed Anuj Jain as IRP to manage the company’s business. The case is being heard by NCLT.

buyer 4

Dharmendra Mishra booked a unit in Amrapali Smart City project way back in 2011. He shifted to Amrapali Dream Valley project post the Noida Extension land acquisition issues. Till date, he has paid up almost 80 percent of the total cost of the house but there is no construction on site and no hope for a house, not yet. His month rent works out to be Rs 12,500 per month and an EMI of Rs 16,000 per month.

"I don’t think we will get possession even by next Diwali. Work has come to a halt. As per the agreement, we should have handed over possession by 2013 and we are in 2018 today. Besides the agony of paying equated monthly installments for a house that is not ready and may perhaps take years, we have to endure the pain of shifting houses every year. We have lost all hope," he says.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had ordered that the three directors of the embattled Amrapali Group be kept in custody until all documents pertaining to the 46 firms are retrieved by forensic auditors. It also issued contempt notice against them for defying court orders. In September, the Supreme Court had appointed state-run NBCC to develop stalled projects of Amrapali Group.  NBCC has issued tenders for 10-11 out of the 16 stalled projects and has submitted a detailed project report (DPR) of Amrapali Group's 16 stalled projects to the Supreme Court.
First Published on Nov 7, 2018 09:16 am
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