GURGAON: Deepak (name changed) had invested in a 2-BHK apartment at Vatika India Next in Sector 82, hoping it would be his dream home in Millenium City with all modern facilities, while he lived in a rented pad in the capital. The project, however, has been delayed and he says he is now being forced to take possession without a grant of occupation certificate (OC). "Without the OC, we might even be forced to vacate the apartments if anything goes wrong after possession, as with Mumbai's Campa Cola society," he said.
Another buyer, Vijay, said, "Eight months ago, the developer sent us a letter asking us to take possession before August 30, threatening to cancel our booking and saying we'd also forfeit earnest money if we failed. It also said we'll have to pay holding and maintenance charges even though we haven't got OC."
Activist M K Gupta, who filed an RTI (a copy of which is with TOI) with the department of town and country planning (DTCP), said, "The response to my RTI clearly says DTCP hasn't issued any OC to Vatika Ltd in sectors 81, 82, 82A, 83, 84 and 85. It is thus against the rules to give possession and charge maintenance from buyers."
"When I invested, I hoped for tax benefit after possession. The developer however delayed the project by five years. Now, instead of compensating, the developer is asking for maintenance charges without OC," said a buyer who has invested in Sector 83.
A Vatika official said, "Maintenance and holding charges apply only to clients who don't assume possession in three months. No booking has been cancelled. As far as possession is concerned, we can't force it."
When asked about the delay, the official said, "Delays cannot be attributed to the developer alone. There are obligations by the government towards infrastructure like roads, electricity, water; and by customers in terms of timely payments. Changes in governmental regulations also affect deliveries."
More than 60 buyers filed a case against the developer at the national consumer redress forum with their complaints. In initial hearings, the developer asked the court to withdraw the case as different cases had been filed by different buyers. The buyers have so far stood united. The next hearing is on August 25.