GURGAON: Taking cognizance of TOI's report that exposed a multi-crore fraud, in which Adel Landmarks Limited allegedly sold off 11.7 acres of project land on Dwarka expressway after accepting 25% of the cost for flats from 400 investors, a CAG audit has cited negligence on the part of Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP), Haryana, in monitoring advertisements of the project and changes in shareholding of developer firms.
The report claims the builder pre-launched the project even before building plans were approved, in violation of the terms of licence.
The CAG report, tabled in Haryana assembly on the last day of its budget session on Wednesday, noted that as per conditions of the licence issued to the builder - Identity Buildtech Private Limited in April 2011 (then a subsidiary of Adel Landmarks) - no advertisement for sale of plots/flats were to be publicized before the building plans were approved.
As per the audit findings, the DTCP director general had issued instructions to all senior town planners in the state to keep a tab on advertisements on sale of plots/flats in licensed residential, commercial, industrial and IT colonies, to check if they were being issued as per DTCP's instructions. If any promotional material was advertised in contravention of the instructions, the developer was to be notified and action initiated to suspend its licence.
In this case, though, CAG found the colonizer had pre-launched the project - Cosmos City 2 in Sector 103 - in April 2012, and issued receipts for booking of flats to about 400 investors. It had already collected Rs 55 crore from flat-bookings, though building plans were approved only a year later.
"A share-purchase agreement was executed on December 18, 2012, between Era Landmarks (now Adel Landmarks), Identity Buildtech and Ansal Housing & Construction, for purchase of 100% shareholding of Identity Buildtech Private Limited. It was not disclosed by Identity Buildtech that it had by then collected Rs 55 crore from prospective buyers. Neither has that amount been refunded, nor were flats/plots given to prospective buyers," read the report.
The report further read, "The ACS (additional chief secretary) of DTCP had, suo motu, taken cognizance of the news item which appeared in the Times of India on July 4, 2014, for taking action against the colonizer."
As per CAG's opinion, stated in the report, monitoring of such advertisements and taking prompt action on builders involved in the case was DTCP's responsibility. It stressed that DTCP should put in place a more effective system to avoid such irregularities, including monitoring of advertisement of projects in violation of norms and transfer of shareholdings without requisite permissions.