Homebuyers of NBCC's Gurugram project 'Green View' project who have been forced to vacate their homes after they were declared unsafe, on March 31 demanded refund of the amount invested along with 15% interest, registration and interiors cost as well as Rs 25 lakh towards mental agony caused to them and their families.
"We have vacated flats and (are) now living on rent. But, NBCC has not refunded the money to us as it was ordered by the authorities in Gurugram," said G Mohanty, the president of the homebuyers’ association, pointing out that NBCC is paying rent to 25 allottees, who have vacated the flats, at a rate of Rs 12.5 per square ft but this is only for six months.
Green View was constructed by a state-run firm NBCC. The project is located in Sector 37D of Gurugram. It was launched in 2011 and comprised 786 flats, of which only 250 units have been sold largely to working and retired government employees. The construction work started in 2012 and the project was to be delivered in 2015 but possessions were offered to 250 allottees in 2017.
On February 16, Gurugram deputy commissioner Nishant Kumar Yadav had asked the residents of the Green View complex in Sector 37 D to vacate the premises after an IIT-D team declared the structure unsafe. He also ordered the developer NBCC to provide alternative accommodation to the residents for the duration and bear the cost of transportation, shifting and rentals.
NBCC was also asked to refund the money, with interest, to the homebuyers who do not wish to live in the society. As many as 140 families lived in the residential complex—100 families in the flats allotted to the economically weaker sections and 40 in other apartments.
According to homebuyers, the work on 786 flats started in 2012 and these were to be delivered by May 2015. Out of the total, NBCC could sell only 263 units. The remaining 523 units remain unsold.
The Association of Apartment Owners (AOAO), NBCC Green View Group Housing Project on March 31 told reporters that “We have been evicted from our legally owned homes and rendered homeless for no fault of ours. While we have taken a house on rent in the vicinity, our future is uncertain. NBCC has short-changed us. We want them to return the money invested along with 15% interest, registration charges paid, interior costs and Rs 25 lakh as compensation for the mental agony caused to us and our families.”
Some buyers said that the towers should be demolished so as not to harm the adjoining school building and other residential towers in the vicinity.
“We should be given justice and the culprits should be brought to book,” said another buyer.
“I cannot be thrown out of a house which is registered in my name. This is my legally owned premise – a freehold property that I own in Gurgaon,” said Gaurav Singh, another buyer, adding that this is perhaps the first time that the builder himself had declared that the property is unsafe.
While passing the order for eviction of residents from Green View on February 17, 2022, the District Magistrate and Chairperson of District Disaster Management Authority, Gurugram had directed NBCC to refund the money to the residents with interest within a period of one month of the order.
However, in utter disregard of the order, NBCC has not paid any amount to the flat owners, residents said.
AOAO, a registered body under the Societies Registration Act, said that the construction of the buildings was so poor that within a few months cracks had appeared in the pillars, beams and slabs and within three years the builder (NBCC) had to declare these buildings unsafe rendering about 260 families homeless for no fault of theirs.
The Association said that there is ample proof of tender manipulation and other irregularities in selection of contractors by the company as well as collusion with the contractor which ultimately resulted in shoddy construction and poor workmanship.
The irregularities were pointed out in the report of the Chief Technical Examiner of the Central Vigilance Commission during December,2019. However, no CBI investigation has been ordered by the Government so far.
The AOAO has written to CBI as well as EOW, police more than a month ago to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book. However, till today there has not been any noticeable action from the two agencies, the buyers said.
The Association has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court through a writ petition demanding immediate refund of money to the displaced owners and the same is pending adjudication.
The Association has held several meetings with the CMD of the Company and written number of letters demanding immediate refund with interest and compensation, but there has been no response, it said.AOAO has also approached the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs with the grievances asking it to give directions to the company to compensate the displaced home buyers, the association said.