Moneycontrol PRO
Open App

Will imploding twins teach the Wild West of Noida real estate a tough lesson?

It’s tempting to be optimistic after the symbolic action on the Supertech twin towers and wrong to be completely pessimistic on whether one can expect improvements from an unscrupulous industry

August 29, 2022 / 11:01 AM IST
The twin buildings came crashing down in nine seconds.

The twin buildings came crashing down in nine seconds.

Inauguration and launches of projects are routinely greeted with celebration. Today on August 28, 2022, the exact opposite happened. The demolition of two buildings in Noida was greeted with happiness. The Supreme Court order a year ago calling for the demolition of the two illegal buildings constructed by developer Supertech set the stage for a complete media spectacle. And it didn’t disappoint. Residents in nearby projects and viewers waited with bated breath as the twin buildings came crashing down in nine seconds. It was almost as if the ending of the blockbuster Avengers was being recreated in Noida. Edifice Engineering, that managed the demolition of the towers, performed an act that mirrored a disciplined version of the Hulk. The towers came down with surgical precision forcing applause and celebration by viewers.

Celebratory response

I am not sure if there is a parallel to such a celebratory response over a demolition in India. Remember, this is a nation that is satisfied with even a poorly constructed and delayed project. It just needs to be built. A builder who constructs and merely delivers on time is superior to at least 95 percent of his competition – even if cracks appear in the project in a short span of time.

Then what explains this excitement among people over the demolition? At one level it can be said that this is mere Sunday entertainment for a large section. At a bigger level, this is representative of the hatred that most buyers have for builders in India. And nowhere do buyers hate developers more than they hate in the Wild North of Noida. It will be an understatement to say that home buyers are treated with disdain in that city as developers and government authorities worked in tandem to rip into the pocket and thereafter the psyche of the home buyer. As scandal after scandal emerged, the usual defences and excuses piled up. Few developers engaged with betrayed home buyers and not a single builder had the courtesy to apologise to his customers. One is more likely to see the once-in-76-years Haley’s comet than receive an apology from a builder.

ALSO READ: Noida Supertech buildings razed. What happens to the homebuyers now?

Close

All these elements came into play driving the euphoric sentiment among viewers and society. The CAG report last year spelt out the shameless connivance between government authorities and developers. The developer has paid his price in the Supertech case. The company in a statement said that it has suffered a loss of Rs 500 crore. It believes it can recover and has attempted to assuage the concerns of customers in its other projects. On the contrary, government officials and politicians have escaped the scrutiny that was warranted in an era as mischievous as the last decade. Actions have been taken that can at best be described as ‘mild’ and ‘soft.’

Builder-politician-bureaucrat nexus under lens

Will this lead to a new chapter in Noida real estate? It’s tempting to be optimistic after this symbolic action on the Supertech towers. I’m afraid that optimism may be misplaced. The battle was tough and long. In this particular case, there were a spirited set of home buyers who fought the legal battle for almost a decade to get justice. It’s unlikely that there are too many societies with that degree of determination and fight.

Yet it will be wrong to be completely pessimistic about the outlook. Indications from certain segments make it clear that after the scathing CAG report on Noida, the Yogi Adityanath government has tightened the screws on the builder-politician-bureaucrat nexus. It remains to be seen if this makeover is cosmetic or whether it is even sustainable. There will be resistance from the ecosystem that has become accustomed to easy wealth.
Vishal Bhargava is a real estate enthusiast who views and reviews new projects, when not busy with his newstoon platform Snapnews. The views are personal.
Sections
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark