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Over 30,000 flats to be delivered by Noida, Greater Noida and YEIDA by month end; buyers say move is an ‘eyewash’

Action against builders to be taken only after audit process is completed, say sources

Vandana Ramnani @vandanaramnani1

As Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway industrial development authorities assured the three-member Uttar Pradesh ministerial committee delivery of 32,525 flats to homebuyers by end of this month, buyers who have been fighting pillar to post to get possession of their flats, said that the units being promised delivery are only those for which completion certificates are being given and do not include the big three – Jaypee, Amrapali and Unitech.

Meanwhile, sources confirmed that no builders had been arrested for not delivering flats to homebuyers. “Any action against builders will be taken only after audit process is completed which may take about a month,” sources said.

As many as 1.6 lakh homes are delayed in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway put together and homebuyers who are burdened with both equated monthly instalments and rent said that delivery of flats being promised by authorities comprise projects that were, in any case, nearing completion and do not include the big builders in Noida whose projects have been delayed for years or against whom insolvency proceedings are currently on. None of those projects have been revived, they say.

“Had some of the units from the much delayed projects launched by the big three builders been delivered – Jaypee, Amrapali and Unitech, as many as 1 lakh homes could have been seen actual delivery on ground. This is all an eyewash. Why has the government not implemented the project settlement policy,” asks Abhishek Kumar, president of Noida Extension flat buyers' welfare association.

The UP government had on December 13, 2016, approved this policy to resolve multiple issues faced by builders and homebuyers. The policy gives realtors an exit route from projects they are unable to execute. It also benefits homebuyers who are waiting past the deadline for delivery of their flats. Under the policy, a builder can exit a housing or commercial project by surrendering the part of the plot allotted to it on which construction is yet to be started. The PSP was touted as a panacea for sick realty projects.

Builders, meanwhile, said that they had failed to complete some projects because of financial difficulties and also due to some banks not forthcoming in disbursing loans for projects for which some developers have been shown as defaulter on the authority website.

About 8,000 flats are already delivered. As many as 25,000 units are those for which completion certificate has been applied for. These CC's are being processed slowly for procedural reasons (like getting consent from allottees for minor changes in plan, financial reconciliations etc) and should be given in the next 30-60 days, builders say.

The remaining apartments are also 90 percent ready but these are stuck in last mile funding problems due to serious financial disputes with the Authorities (In some cases banks are not disbursing home loan to customers because project is shown as a defaulter on the authorities’ website) In some cases, interest is being charged for the period some builders did not have possession of even the land, claims Pankaj Bajaj, president (NCR) of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI).

On Monday, top officials from the authorities apprised the three-member ministerial committee, looking into homebuyers issues, at a meeting held to review the progress on delivery of flats in stuck housing projects. The December-end deadline was set by Uttar Pradesh chief minister after he constituted the ministerial panel to look into homebuyers’ issues and revive stuck housing projects after homebuyers had complained of non-delivery of flats despite several years of delay.

The committee comprises of state industries minister Satish Mahana, urban housing minister Suresh Khanna and minister of state for industry and sugar mills Suresh Rana, had earlier warned builders that they ‘will either deliver flats by December-end or go to jail’.

The Noida authority assured the committee that different builders are scheduled to deliver 11,000 flats; the Greater Noida authority promised to deliver 14,000 flats in various housing projects under its jurisdiction; the Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority told the committee that it will deliver 7525 flats by December end.

According to Noida Authority sources, 5,771 completion certificates have been handed over to builders since August 2017. Of these 5,670 flats were handed over by November. Besides, 3,791 flats are being fast-tracked for year-end delivery.

Greater Noida Authority officials reportedly told the group of ministers on Monday that they have already given possession of 4,529 flats. About 9,671 are over 90 percent complete and should get completion certificates this month. About 5,000 flats in Greater Noida are being pushed for completion by January 2018, officials said.

As many as 50,000 housing units were expected to be completed in Noida by end of December this year. At a meeting held in Lucknow a few months ago, it was decided that 12,000-12,500 flats will be completed by builders from Noida, around 27,000-27,500 by Greater Noida developers and 10,000 flats by builders operating in Yamuna Expressway.

The total inventory stuck in Greater Noida is far more than Noida – almost three times that of Noida. As many as 1.7 to 1.8 lakh units are stuck in Greater Noida compared to 60,000 in Noida.

The Noida Authority had selected Currie & Brown, an international private agency, to audit 36,000 units as part of the first phase last month. They have been given 40 to 45 days to audit accounts of 100 developers who have not cleared their dues to the authority and may have failed to deliver housing units to homebuyers on time. They will be employing six teams – each team auditing 5000 to 6000 units each, Alok Tandon, CEO, Noida Authority had earlier told Moneycontrol.

As many as 14 builders are being audited as part of the first phase. The agency will audit the builders on 11 points. The Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority has formed a committee to audit the builders’ accounts. Greater Noida authority has also hired the services of Currie & Brown to do the job.

The Noida authority is struggling to recover around Rs 11,000 crore in land dues from 94 builders. These builders got the land allotted against payment of 10 percent of the total land cost at the time of allotment and the remaining 90 percent in instalments.
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