HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Van­dana Ram­nani

Peo­ple in Noida Ex­ten­sion, who thought their tri­als and tribu­la­tions had ended af­ter the land acquisition is­sue was set­tled in 2012, find no end to their suf­fer­ings even to­day. Many of them are now re­ceiv­ing of­fers of pos­ses­sion de­mand­ing ad­di­tional pay­ments in lakhs for ‘labour wel­fare’, wa­ter con­nec­tion and farmer acquisition charges. In some cases, even af­ter pay­ing their builders the money, the home­buy­ers are wait­ing for phys­i­cal pos­ses­sion of their apart­ments.

Surinder Singh, an IT pro­fes­sional pay­ing an EMI of ₹ 6,000 per month for a 1BHK apart­ment in Noida Ex­ten­sion in 2010 and a rent of ₹ 15,000 for a house in Cross­ings Repub­lik, re­ceived an of­fer of pos­ses­sion let­ter in De­cem­ber last year. Not only In­ter­est on de­layed pay­ment

had the apart­ment area been in­creased from 550 sq ft to 598 sq ft (al­most 11%) from what was com­mit­ted in the builder-buyer agree­ment (BBA), he was also sent a list of ad­di­tional charges that he had to pay be­fore he could move into the apart­ment. The let­ter raised a de­mand for 24% in­ter­est for six months as penalty. “This was un­fair as af­ter pay­ing the manda­tory 10% book­ing amount in 2010, I had made the sec­ond pay­ment of 30% only af­ter I re­ceived the BBA – al­most af­ter six months. While the BBA had men­tioned that this amount had to be paid Ad­vance maintenance charges for two years Farmer com­pen­sa­tion charges (To be paid by al­lot­tees: SC)

af­ter 60 days of the book­ing, this was not com­mu­ni­cated to me be­fore I re­ceived my BBA,” Singh says.

“I was also asked to pay ₹ 25,000 as wa­ter con­nec­tion charge. My BBA does not men­tion it as a sep­a­rate charge. Be­sides, a labour cess of ₹ 20 per sq ft and a farmers’ com­pen­sa­tion charge of ₹ 50 per sq ft was the ad­di­tional bur­den. This again was un­fair as buy­ers who had paid up for their apart­ments some years ago were promised that they would not have to pay any­thing ex­tra as they had stood by the builders through­out the Noida Ex­ten­sion con­tro­versy,” he adds.

Singh even­tu­ally did pay up an ad­di­tional amount of around ₹ 2 lakh but not af­ter email­ing the builder that he was do­ing so ‘in protest.’ Sub­se­quently, he re­ceived a call from the builder’s of­fice, promis­ing a ‘set­tle­ment’. He was told that in­stead of 24% in­ter­est, he would be charged only 12% and the labour cess would be re­duced from ₹ 20 per sq ft to ₹ 10 per sq ft. In re­turn, how­ever, Singh was told that he would have to sign a let­ter of con­sent/ no ob­jec­tion, stat­ing that he had no prob­lem with the builder con­struct­ing ad­di­tional units.

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