A great view... of fake grass

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE -

Builders are no­to­ri­ous for not de­liv­er­ing on prom­ises to buy­ers, but this one re­ally takes the cake. A well-known builder in Delhi NCR has added a pref­er­en­tial lo­ca­tion charge (PLC) on apart­ments that over­look a patch of green – made of fake grass.

Shankar Sanghi ( name changed) paid a PLC of ₹ 100 per sq ft when he booked his apart­ment in Noida Ex­ten­sion al­most four years ago. While he was happy to know that the developer was of­fer­ing pos­ses­sion of his unit, he was shocked when he saw the gar­den that his apart­ment over­looked – a fake green car­pet strip in­stead of a nat­u­ral park. He had been conned.

“I had paid ₹ 100 per sq ft ad­di­tional charge for buy­ing an apart­ment that faced a park but mine faces a green car­pet in­stead. The developer may have done it to cut costs but I don’t know if I would want to pay monthly main­te­nance for a fake green strip in­stead of a gar­den.”

Ac­cord­ing to a Delhi-based ar­chi­tect, a grass car­pet is gen­er­ally easy to main­tain and costs any­thing be­tween ₹ 100 to ₹ 150 per sq ft while a ‘ real’ gar­den with wa­ter proof­ing etc costs any­thing be­tween ₹ 300 to ₹ 500 per sq ft.

“Buy­ers have ev­ery right to protest such a move, say le­gal ex­perts. This is an absolute hoax. A builder can­not pos­si­bly pre­sume that a buyer is so gullible that he would pay pref­er­en­tial lo­ca­tion charges for a fake grass car­pet in­stead of a park-fac­ing apart­ment. This would amount to fraud and the con­sumers have a rem­edy avail­able under the law,” says Vaib­hav Gag­gar of Gag­gar and As­so­ciates.

That’s not all. An­other builder in the same area had ini­tially sold the pro­ject with six swim­ming pools be­ing the unique sell­ing propo­si­tion. The num­ber has now been whit­tled down to a much more be­liev­able one.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION: JAYANTO

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