Ut­tar Pradesh polls: Dis­grun­tled buy­ers start ‘ no house, no vote’ twit­ter cam­paign

Buy­ers up­set with de­lays in pos­ses­sion hope to use the NOTA op­tion while vot­ing to con­vince politi­cians to re­solve their prob­lems when in power

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - ESTATES - Van­dana Ram­nani van­dana.ram­nani@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Fed up with de­lays in de­liv­ery of their apart­ments, prop­erty buy­ers in Noida Ex­ten­sion or Greater Noida West, have de­cided to take ad­van­tage of the forth­com­ing assem­bly elec­tions in Ut­tar Pradesh with a twit­ter cam­paign: ‘no house, no vote’. It’s meant for builders and politi­cians.

As many as 3 lakh apart­ments have been launched in Greater Noida West since 2009. How­ever, even af­ter a long land ac­qui­si­tion bat­tle from 2010 and re­sump­tion of con­struc­tion work from 2012, just 25,000 apart­ments have been de­liv­ered till now. Buy­ers al­lege that pos­ses­sion letters given by build- ers in­clude re­quests for ex­tra pay­ment for in­creased cost of ce­ment and other con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als, farmer com­pen­sa­tion charges and de­layed pay­ment.

“This has es­ca­lated the cost of houses which were af­ford­able when we booked them. It is be­cause of these rea­sons that we have launched the no house, no vote twit­ter cam­paign, hop­ing to rope in most buy­ers who are yet to re­ceive pos­ses­sion of their units. They will be asked to choose (none of the above) or NOTA op­tion in the forth­com­ing assem­bly polls,” says In­dr­ish Gupta, founder Noida Ex­ten­sion Flat Own­ers Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion (NEFOWA).

“We have also re­ceived sup­port from farm­ers in Bis­rakh vil­lage who are ex­pected to choose the NOTA op­tion and are even con­tem­plat­ing floating cit­i­zen rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the forth­com­ing assem­bly elec­tions,” he adds.

Over 100 projects are com­ing up in Greater Noida West and most of them have been built on land ac­quired from vil­lages such as Bis­rakh.

A car and bike rally is also be­ing planned by NEFOWA, which will pass through all projects – com­pleted and un­der con­struc­tion to garner sup­port from the 15,000 families that have moved into the area. “The cam­paign has enor­mous mass ap­peal,” claims Gupta.

In Ut­tar Pradesh, where assem­bly elec­tions are to be held next month, in­vestor con­fi­dence lev­els are de­pen­dent on how the new gov­ern­ment will hon­our its prom­ise to ex­e­cute new in­fra­struc­ture projects and whether it will keep up the growth mo­men­tum. Cur­rently, the real es­tate mar­ket in the state and else­where in the coun­try, is slow pri­mar­ily on ac­count of the de­mon­eti­sa­tion move. Real es­tate ex­perts are hope­ful that af­ter the bud­get there will be more clar­ity and that the first as­set class to see mo­men­tum will be af­ford­able hous­ing.

De­vel­op­ers such as Deepak Kapoor, pres­i­dent, Credai western UP, are op­ti­mistic. “I hope that the gov­ern­ment com­ing to power will give a push to ease of do­ing busi­ness and pro­vide for sin­gle win­dow clear­ances so that con­struc­tion work goes on as per sched­ule and projects are de­liv­ered on time.

“Cur­rently, most projects get de­layed be­cause of ap­provals not be­ing granted on time and pres­ence of mul­ti­ple agencies from where these have to be pro- cured,” he says. Builders should be granted more time to make pay­ments for land as the mar­ket is cur­rently slow, he adds.

Home­buy­ers in Noida hope that the new gov­ern­ment will im­ple­ment sec­tion 4 (5) of the UP Apart­ment Act that spec­i­fies the time pe­riod within which projects have to be com­pleted. There should be curbs on last­minute hid­den charges that de­vel­op­ers of­ten charge buy­ers at the time of pos­ses­sion and master plans should be im­ple­mented. All ameni­ties and in­fra­struc­ture promised should be in place be­fore projects are handed over, says Sudeepta Ku­mar Pal, man­ag­ing part­ner and ad­vo­cate, Lead Coun­sels.

Usu­ally it takes five years for a build­ing to be com­pleted, but this has been made ex­tend­able by three years un­der the amended UP Apart­ment Act. A builder can now take al­most eight years to com­plete the project. Here the gov­ern­ment has di­luted the Act and gone back to the De­vel­op­ment Act, say le­gal ex­perts. “This is prob­a­bly been done to bail out builders who have de­layed the project. The Apart­ment Act 2010 had a unique fea­ture. Projects had to be specif­i­cally com­pleted within 24 months. They have now been given six ad­di­tional years,” say le­gal ex­perts.

The amended Act also states that once a com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cate has been re­ceived by the builder, the sanc­tion­ing au­thor­ity can clear any plans for changes in projects and per­mis­sion of home­buy­ers is not re­quired. The in­fer­ence one can draw from this is that a builder can make changes in the orig­i­nal project plan till the time he ob­tains a com­ple­tion cer­tifi­cate, says Pal.

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