After months of protest and agitations from aggrieved home-buyers, especially in Delhi-NCR, the Centre has finally sprung to action. The government’s plans to fast-track the completion of thousands of homes left incomplete due to the failure of errant real estate developers comes even some affected customers in Noida and Greater Noida threaten them with no votes if grievances aren’t addressed.
“There is some movement… the attempt is to give relief to home buyers. The ministry is in talks with NBCC. However there has to be some procedure for that and the ministry has already asked NBCC for a quotation,” a senior official in Ministry of Urban Development told this publication.
There are already three lakh homes in NCR alone which either remain incomplete due to builders who have run out of funds or facing insolvency. Developers who fall in this bracket include top names like Unitech, Amrapali, Jaypee, 3C Developers and Logix. Many of these projects have been delayed for over 5-6 years, leaving most customers with both loan interest and rent expenses.
The lack of concrete action as the years drag on has even prompted one set of affected homebuyers to launch a ‘No Home No Vote’ campaign. “Neither state nor centre came to our help. We are tax-paying citizens and our life savings have been duped by these developers. Why should we vote if they are not giving us any protection. If required, we will campaign against the BJP government,” Abhishek Kumar, president, Noida Extension Flat Owners’ Association (NEFOWA) had said in December.
“We are paying money since 2011 and this project was supposed to have been completed by 2013, but there’s no sign of the project. Nothing happened on the ground. Developers are behind bars... they will soon get bail, but what will happen to our money. Politicians can no longer take us for granted,” adds Rajiv, a customer of the stuck Amrapali Dream Valley.
Now, with elections around the corner, the central government has started consultations on the issue.“The government has enquired with the NBCC on the cost and time estimates for all projects. It is not possible to take up the entire lot at one time. Once we will get the estimation, we will move forward. Many financial companies have already expressed their interest,” the official added.
Affected buyers had also written to then finance minister Arun Jaitley, requesting the creation of a stress fund so that construction by the NBCC could be started immediately. Media reports say that just days after interim finance minister Piyush Goyal took charge, he held a meeting with banks where the issue of unfinished projects were also discussed.
With developers also exerting pressure on the government, work on a dedicated fund for stressed projects has now begun. However, no major decisions have been taken so far. Sources say that a timeline for resolution of these projects will be out before the election.
UP government asked to speed up resolution
The Centre has also asked the Uttar Pradesh government to fast-track work on a resolution plan for incomplete projects for which a high-level committee had been set up. But, the panel is yet to come up with one.
NBCC set to take up construction
- Ministry of Urban Development has been in discussions with state-run developer NBCC exploring the costs and time required to finsh stalled projects
- While it is not possible to take up all projects simultaneously, many other firms have express an interest, say senior government sources
- 3 lakh homebuyers have been affected due to delayed completion in Delhi-NCR alone
- 5-6 years of delays have been recorded in several residential projects in the area