Project delays have ruined what little trust home buyers had in real estate developers in the Delhi/NCR region. No one is ready to invest in a home, when chances are that it could be delayed by years. And developers are not helping matters by repeatedly revising timelines and acting in a non-transparent manner. As part of our special series on big developers, big delays – we look at the Amrapali Group, whose projects seem to have gone horribly wrong.
Why Are 25,000 Of Amrapali Group’s Customers Bitter & Angry?
The Amrapali Group was once considered one of the biggest developers in the Delhi/NCR market, but now over 25,000 of its customers are up in arms. Buyers in the Amrapali Dreamvalley project in Great Noida West claim only about 25% of the project has been constructed, even though it was to be completed in 2015. When NDTV visited the site, it was almost deserted with little activity on the ground. At the current pace of construction, it is clear that the project will take another 3 to 4 years to complete.
#amrapalidreamvalley Builder doing fraud and govt aint doin anythin.Buyers bound to pay rentals and EMI.
— FrustatedAmrapliByer (@amrapli) April 23, 2016
When contacted, the Amrapali Group defended itself by blaming land acquisition issues and the National Green Tribunal’s order to halt construction as the main factors behind the delay.
— Puneet Chaudhary (@binabaatke) April 18, 2016
“My few projects are delayed due to lot of litigation issues in the region. The projects which are delayed, we have calculated a period of how much we have been affected. We would like to complete our project. It may be a bit delayed, but whatever agreement we have, we will follow it.” says Anil Sharma, chairman and managing director of the Amrapali Group.
But the big mystery here is that if work had to be stopped due to regulatory issues, why has the company not fast-tracked construction now that all these issues have been sorted out? Industry sources say around 30 projects of the Amrapali group’s in Delhi/NCR have been delayed by 2 to 3 years and more.
— Monica Jasuja (@jasuja) April 23, 2016
The Amrapali Lesson: Why You Should Not Upset Your Customers
What’s worse? Even customers living in delivered projects are not happy. The residents of the group’s Sapphire project took possession of their homes 2 years after the promised delivery date, but faced trouble with lifts failing, fires breaking out and poor parking facilities. When the company failed to respond, outraged residents took to social media. A pitched campaign soon saw an endorsement deal between the Amrapali Group and Indian Cricket team captain MS Dhoni end, further highlighting the company’s troubles with disappointed customers.
The good news is that the Authorities have finally taken note. The Noida Authority recently summoned Amrapali’s Anil Sharma and placed a timeline for the completion of the group’s projects. A committee has also been formed to carry out inspections of the company’s project sites. Faced with intense scrutiny from all sides, the Amrapali Group has also set up a customer help desk for its projects and has assigned officials to take care of the complaints.
But these are stop gap measures at best. For a home buyer who is facing tremendous mental and financial pressure, action on the ground is what is needed. And many are hoping that the upcoming state housing regulator will have the answers they seek.
Reporter : Chankya Bhatia, NDTV
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas, NDTV