AL­LE­GA­TIONS OF THREATS ‘BASE­LESS’

HT Estates - - NEWS - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

When 61-year-old B V Rais­ing­hani, work­ing with a pri­vate limited com­pany, got pos­ses­sion of his apart­ment i n Su­pertech’s Emer­ald Court in 2009, he ex­pected to en­joy a grand life­style as the project, mar­keted as a ‘jewel of per­fec­tion’, promised ex­cel­lent ameni­ties and fa­cil­i­ties.

Af­ter mov­ing in, how­ever, Rais­ing­hani al­leges that he and oth­ers in the build­ing dis­cov­ered many flaws such as seep­age in their apart­ments, lack of fire-fight­ing equip­ment, faulty sew­er­age and drainage sys­tems and ab­sence of a com­pound wall - a se­cu­rity threat in it­self. Then, while ne­go­ti­at­ing with Su­pertech for the res­o­lu­tion of their is­sues, the res­i­dents came to know that the Noida Au­thor­ity had al­lowed the de­vel­oper to re­vise his orig­i­nal plan and con­struct two more tow­ers - 16 (Ceyane) and 17 (Apex).

The Al­la­habad High Court had re­cently or­dered the de­mo­li­tion of the two tow­ers, lo­cated in Sec­tor 93-A of Noida as part of the Emer­ald Court Com­plex.

“In 2004-05, the Noida Au­thor­ity had l eased out 48,263 sq mt land in Sec­tor 93A to Su­pertech and sanc­tioned the lay­out plan for the con­struc­tion of a group hous­ing project. A to­tal of 15 res­i­den­tial tow­ers were pro­posed to be con­structed, but in June 2006, the Au­thor­ity leased out an ad­di­tional 6,556.51 sq mt of When asked if Su­pertech had been in­volved in mak­ing the threat­en­ing calls and stalk­ing RWA mem­bers, RK Arora, chair­man, Su­pertech, said “th­ese are ut­terly base­less al­le­ga­tions. It’s un­for­tu­nate to see how peo­ple

land al­low­ing the de­vel­oper to con­struct a shop­ping cen­tre and a res­i­den­tial tower of ground plus 11. We did not ob­ject to the ad­di­tional lease and the re­vised plan be­cause it did not seem as if any rules had been flouted and we were any­way too con­cerned with our bat­tle to im­prove the fa­cil­i­ties in our tow­ers (the ex­ist­ing 15 struc­tures) to worry about the new plan,” says Rais­ing­hani.

He and other apart­ment owners, who later formed a res­i­dents’ wel­fare as­so­ci­a­tion, say they smelt a scam when in Novem­ber 2009 the Noida Au­thor­ity al­lowed the de­vel­oper to re­vise his ear­lier plan to build a shop­ping cen­tre and res­i­den­tial tower and re­place them with two res­i­den­tial tow­ers – Ceyane and Apex, each with 24 floors.

U B S Te o t i a , p r e s i d e n t of Emer­ald Cour t Owner Res­i­dents’ Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion, says, “The sanc­tion of the ad­di­tional land and the Au­thor­ity’s ap­proval of two res­i­den­tial tow­ers made us sus­pect that build­ing reg­u­la­tions were be­ing vi­o­lated with im­punity. Soon, when con­struc­tion work of the two tow­ers started, we re­alised that both were be­ing can stoop so low to make such al­le­ga­tions. We are a law-abid­ing com­pany and we be­lieve in the process of law. In fact, the RWA mem­bers have their own vested in­ter­ests in the case so they are say­ing what­ever they want.”

built dan­ger­ously close to tower 1. The 2010 build­ing reg­u­la­tions of Noida read with the Na­tional Build­ing Code 2005 state that it is manda­tory to main­tain a dis­tance of 16 me­tres be­tween two tow­ers. This al­lows free move­ment of fire ten­ders in­side the com­pound,” he adds.

The an­gry home­buy­ers then bom­barded the Noida Au­thor­ity with l et t ers and e- mails, de­mand­ing ac­tion. In­stead of lis­ten­ing to them, how­ever, the Au­thor­ity, in March 2012 al­lowed the de­vel­oper to pur­chase ad­di­tional FAR of 2.75, giv­ing permission for con­struc­tion of 16 more floors, bring­ing the num­ber of floors to 40 each in the two tow­ers.

The res­i­dents al­lege they were not in­formed about the new ap­provals. Ra­j­pal Tan­don, ex-pres­i­dent of the RWA, says, “We came to know about th­ese de­vel­op­ments through RTIs. When our re­peated re­quests to the Noida Au­thor­ity fell on deaf ears, we wrote to the prime min­is­ter of In­dia, the chief min­is­ter of Ut­tar Pradesh and sev­eral other gov­ern­ment agen­cies for ac­tion against the de­vel­oper. Our ef­fort put so much pres­sure on the Noida Au­thor­ity that it started is­su­ing show cause no­tices to the de­vel­oper on our com­plaints.”

The com­plaint of the RWA of­fice bear­ers about the non­func­tion­ing and in­ad­e­quate fire safety equip­ment was found valid by the chief fire of­fi­cer of Gau­tam Budh Na­gar. Other RWA com­plaints against en­croach­ments on the set­back area (gap be­tween bound­ary wall and the tower), con­struc­tion in the base­ments etc went un­heeded and the Au­thor­ity didn’t take any con­crete step to re­solve the prob­lems. When all op­tions were ex­hausted, the RWA of Emer­ald Court moved the Al­la­habad High Court on De­cem­ber 2012.

“The last few years have been very painful for us. We have had to pool in re­sources to fight the le­gal bat­tle de­spite our own fi­nan­cial con­straints. Not only that, we have got threat­en­ing calls from uniden­ti­fied peo­ple warn­ing us of dire con­se­quences if we con­tinue to fight the case. El­derly mem­bers of the RWA were stalked when­ever they stepped out of the bound­ary. The bat­tle has re­ally tested our pa­tience,” says Rais­ing­hani.

Su­pertech has, how­ever, de­nied charges of threat­en­ing calls and stalk­ing (see box in this story).

The RWA mem­bers say that de­spite fight­ing an ex­haust­ing bat­tle with the de­vel­oper and the Noida Au­thor­ity, they have not lost the will to take on the op­pos­ing par­ties in the Supreme Court if they file pe­ti­tions. Ashoka En­clave Bad­kal Lake BPTP Charmswood Vil­lage Green Field Na­har Par NIT Pal­wal Sainik Colony

R K Arora, CMD, Su­pertech Limited

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