Noida's Supertech twin towers have been razed through a controlled implosion, but it has also shattered several homebuyers' dreams of having their own nest.
Many who had bought flats in the twin towers in 2009-10 for sizeable amounts then -- by cobbling up down payments and taking large bank loans -- find that similar apartments are out of their reach now.
The builders are giving refunds plus 12 percent interest after a Supreme Court verdict, which ordered the demolition of the towers as it flouted rules.
However, it is impossible to buy flats with the refund money as prices have risen way too high during the last ten years, real estate brokers say.
Ekta Gupta, an entrepreneur, who bought the apartment in 2011, took a bank loan of Rs 30 lakh and paid Rs 10 lakh from her side. "I started paying the loan immediately, and in 2014 when I did not get the house, everything around crashed for me," she said.
Gupta, who filed a court case, said the last 10 years have been a bitter lesson for her. "Today even if I get the money back, with 12 percent interest, I do not think I will be able to buy another home without paying additional money," she said.
Gupta said Rs 40 lakh was a huge amount in 2009 and she poured her entire savings to buy an apartment. Ten years later, she is priced out of the market.
Real estate brokers Moneycontrol spoke to said homebuyers will not get an apartment like twin towers now from the refund amount they receive from the builders.
Mahendar Kumar, a real estate broker in Noida, said, "Today for a similar apartment the prices are around Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000 per square feet (sq ft). That comes up to Rs 1 crore plus for an apartment in a similar location like Twin Towers."
Other real estate brokers in Noida say even for apartments in less-connected areas in Noida, the prices will be at least Rs 6,000 per sq ft, bringing the home value to Rs 60-70 lakh at least.
For the homebuyers, buying a new apartment from the refund they get, would be at least 40-50 percent more expensive, real estate agents say.
Lakhsmi Sivaswamy, a consultant who lives in a tower next to the Twin Towers, said, "It is impossible to get an apartment with the refund money, especially a house in such a location with so many amenities." The demolition is an example that every builder needs to be responsible with the funds and their commitments.
"To date, very few people have got their money back," Sivaswamy added.
Of the 711 homebuyers who purchased homes in the two buildings, Supertech had resolved claims for 652 of them, while 59 homebuyers' refunds totalling over Rs 14.96 crore are still outstanding.Follow our live updates on the demolition here.