Builder woes: Dream homes distant, buyers protest
Apr 14, 2014
Source : The Times of India


NOIDA: A day after the Allahabad high court ordered the demolition of two residential towers of Emerald Court in Noida’s Sector 93A, scores of flat-buyers in both projects protested outside the builder’s office on Saturday. But even amid angry slogan-shouting, what came through was the anguish brought on by fears that their dream homes, for which most have spent lakhs, or even crores, could come crashing down.

More than 500 buyers have invested in Phase-II of Emerald Court, which includes the two 40-storeyed towers christened Apex and Ceyane. “I had no idea there was a legal battle being fought,” said Debal Ghosh, one of the investors who participated in the protest. “I am shocked and feel helpless,” he added.

Dhirendra Sharma, another home-buyer, said all of them felt cheated by the builder and the Noida Authority, which was also pulled up by the high court for allowing the construction to take place. “I feel like taking my entire family and jumping off the same towers,” Sharma said. “We do not deserve this. Both the builder and the Authority have committed fraud and should be punished but not at our cost,” he added.

Sanyukta Ghosh, a co-protester, said the builder was playing with their emotions. “It’s hard-earned money saved over a period of time to buy a house of our own,” she said, struggling to control her tears. “We do not want the money from the builder, we just want to have our homes in place by 2015, as promised.”

The high court, in its ruling, had also ordered Supertech to refund home-buyers’ money with “14% interest compounded annually”.

The protesters said the builder hadn’t even bothered to meet them on Saturday. “He (Supertech CMD RK Arora) just sent some of his employees to calm us down. No assurances have come from him,” said Dharmender, who has a flat in Apex tower. “There is total confusion and we do not know if we will come out of this unscathed,” said Rahul Dhar, another flat-owner.

Another home buyer, Jaiprakash Sadh, said he preferred take the refund. “I do not want to be involved in this controversy and prefer to just save my investment of more than half a crore,” he said.

The buyers decided to intensify their protest in the coming days. Having come together in an hour of crisis, they formed an association and also opened accounts on social networking sites to tap public support. “United, we will fight,” said a home buyer. “If required, we will also approach the judiciary for reprieve,” said Sharma. “We want justice and we will not withdraw from fighting for what is our right,” said Ghosh.

Supertech has decided to move the Supreme Court against the high court order.

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