When the Haryana Government setup an allottees grievance-redressal forum a year ago, it was a sign of hope for thousands of homebuyers in the Gurgaon region who had been waiting for years to get their dream homes. But this hope has died, with the government failing to take action against errant builders.
Grievance Redressal Forum Lacks Teeth
Rajesh Mittal booked a flat in Cosmo Court, Sector 86, Gurgaon in 2011 and the builder promised to complete the 13-acre project with all facilities within 3 years. But that promise was rudely broken with the builder selling all land rights to an Ansal Group company, while shifting the Cosmo Court project to an adjacent location that was less than half the size of the original plot. Incensed, Rajesh and 200 other homebuyers approached the allotees grievance-redressal forum set up by the Haryana government, only to be let down.
“We paid 60% of the money and even five years later, we do not even have the bare structure ready. We approached the builder several times but their goons never let us in. Then finally we went to the grievance redressal forum. But it has been more than six months now and no action has been taken.” says Rajesh bitterly. “These forums are nothing but just a sham, just eyewash. They have not taken any strong action against any builder who has been cheating us. We have lost faith.” says Ajay Khatri, another homebuyer who has invested in Cosmo Court
The experience has ruined the trust the home buyers had that the government would step in and make things right. Even people who invested in Orchid Island in Sector 51 have had a similar experience with developers unconcerned about any complaints made to the forum.
“Our builder did not honour the order of the Forum. They instead told us to go to the Court.” claims Ankit, a buyer from the Orchid Island project.
Government To Blame For Forum’s Ineffectiveness
When NDTV got in touch with the forum’s deputy commissioner for Gurgaon – T L Satyaprakash, he claimed that action was being taken. “We are trying to sort out things. Some cases are complex but we will try and resolve them.”
However the numbers just don’t add up. There are 209 complaints against 37 developers including Unitech, BPTP, Emaar MGF, DLF and Adel Landmarks pending before the Allottees Grievances Redressal Forum. Since it was setup in July last year, the Forum has met twice and FIRs were registered against four developers including Emaar MGF. The company in turn filed a case in the High Court challenging the ruling and questioning the forum’s authority.
It is clear that the Forum lacks teeth and that is the government’s fault. The Haryana govt has not yet amended the rules of the forum and notified the rules in the Gazette, which means the forum can only recommend the kind of action to be taken against a defaulting builder. It is up to the police, HUDA or the town planning department to conduct its own investigation before either arresting a builder or cancelling their licence.
The only action the Haryana government has done against builders so far is set up a probe panel to look into the assets of Unitech, but even that seems to be taking its sweet time to complete. The government must take more credible steps or risk having homebuyer anger directed at them for failing to protect their interests.
Reporter : Oineetom Ojah
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas