News Point: In an unprecedented move, Outlook for Social Change (OSC), a collective of citizens, has launched a platform to unite home buyers in projects of Delhi NCRâs real estate giant Supertech Limited.
In order to bring the home buyer victims of Supertech Limited under a common umbrella, OSC has launched www.supertechvictimsforum.in which would be managed by volunteers of the Supertech Victims Forum.
Dedicating Supertech Victims Forum (SVF) to the public at large, the National Convenor of SVF said, âReal Estate Developers like Supertech have been blatantly victimizing hundreds of homebuyers in multiple ways. A customer is a king for real estate developers till signing of the agreement. After signing of the agreement and making payments, a customer is treated like a beggar. Our objective is to ensure that a home buyer is not shortchanged, oppressed and victimized by the powerful builders who more often than not enjoy dictatorial powers because individual customers in the same project have no structured way to unite till they are handed over possession and a Resident Welfare Association is formedâ.
Based on numerous complaints and instances of blatant high handedness that have come to the notice of the now formed Supertech
Victims Forum, the largest number of complaints is of delayed possession. While a builder makes promise of delivery of goods (residential dwelling) in the agreement, they include clauses that virtually allow them to keep delaying the possession endlessly.
According to information received by Supertech Victims Forum, customers of Delhi NCR based builders like Supertech, Amrapali, Jaypee and Unitech form the largest number of home buyer victims. OSC during the course of coming months will launch forums for victims of Amrapali and Jaypee real estate projects.
âThe launch of www.supertechvictimsforum.in is just the beginning. We will soon launch similar forums for homebuyer victims of other real estate developers like Amrapali and Jaypee so that the voices of homebuyer victims results in time-bound and expeditious resolutionsâ, said Professor Tripathi.
âAll online advocacy platforms launched by OSC will solely before purpose of ensuring progressive changes in conduct of builders and in interest of public at large. At no given point of time we will allow any factually incorrect complaint or case to be highlightedâ, he added.
OSC further said that the first recourse that would be attempted is to engage into a constructive dialogue with the real estate developer, like Supertech. In case, Supertech does not provide a reasonable resolution within 14 days of the case being shared with them, we will not waste any more time and seek redressal as deemed appropriate on a case-to-case basis.
The second most common complaint that has come to the information of OSC is lack of promised facilities and quality at the time of handing over possession.
âNo builder can go scot-free after indulging into anti-consumer and unethical practices by greasing palms of government officials to get approvals or certificates. We will ensure that strictest of criminal action is taken on erring builders and government officials for conspiring against the interest of homebuyers, i.e. in public interest,â said a press release issued by the OSC.
OSC further added that many properties acquired by builders from Development Authority through an auction process smell of collusive bidding and cartelization. OSC has come across cases where auction of land parcels have been held by a Development Authority for a particular sector on the same day.
For example, auction of 5 residential housing plots were held by a prominent State Government authority on 12th March 2010. The 5 winning bidders had placed their winning bids which were a few hundred rupees over the reserve price. All the builders were allotted these prime plots barely a couple of hundred rupees more than the reserve price, with all winning bids of the 5 land parcels being in close proximity of each other.
âShould there be a probe in such cases? Or should such land parcels be auctioned in phases so that the government can maximize its earnings, or at least get a fair share of windfall gains made by private builders? These are pertinent points that have to be discussed, debated and decided upon by lawmakers. OSC would raise such issues in appropriate forums so that national, public and consumer interest do not get compromised in order to serve private interests of a chosen few,â Professor Abhilash Tripathi said.
Professor Tripathi added, âOne of the most important aspect is formation of a Consumer Protection Mechanism by making it mandatory for every real estate developer to provide a bank guarantee for refunding the payments made by homebuyers in case of the builder not meeting the contractual commitments in reasonable time frame. We will propose formation of such a mechanism to Narendra Modi, so that a homebuyer opting for this option can encash the bank guarantee, subject to certain conditions. We know it well that we will face tremendous resistance from the powerful builder lobby. But the collective and collaborative voice of individual home buyers is powerful enough to make platforms like www.supertechvictimsforum.in to usher in a social changeâ.
By: Ravi Sinha