The National Capital Region (NCR) should have been a mecca for real estate, but today it is a bit like a sinking ship, with homebuyers desperately searching for lifeboats to get them out of the mess of stalled projects in the region. The Gardenia Group is one example of how delinquent developers have driven the real estate sector here into a prolonged slump.
Broken Promises: Gardenia Group
The Gardenia group’s project ‘Glory’ was launched in 2009 in Sector 46 of Noida. 7 years down the line, many of the buyers who have paid up almost the entire cost of the flat, are still waiting to get possession of their homes. Many of them have taken to visiting the project site regularly to track the pace of construction, only to be disappointed.
“I booked my flat in year 2010 and since then I am waiting to get the flat. I have paid almost 90% amount two years back and we are paying EMIs. There is no progress in the construction of my flat. I keep checking it, but there has been no progress since the last two years.” says Ranjeet Kumar, one of the project’s buyers.
Industry source say several other projects of the Gardenia Group have been delayed by an average of 2 to 3 years.
Gardenia Group Struggles To Pay Off Debts
Making matters worse, the buyers claim that the land on which the company has built the project has been illegally mortgaged. “The property has been mortgaged thrice. Firstly, the land payment has not been done to the Noida Authority; so the land belongs to the authority. Unfortunately, the builder has further mortgage the same to property to OBC and they claim the property belongs to them.” claims Ashok Kaul, another buyer in the project.
This can be a serious problem if the project is ever seized for non-payment of dues. In fact, a field investigation by NDTV showed that Gardenia has to pay around Rs 150 crores in loan dues to the OBC bank while the company owes over 200 crores to the Noida Authority as land dues. The Gardenia Group has submitted a plan of repayment of loan to the OBC bank, which is under consideration – but there is no word on how it plans to repay the Noida Authority.
Good Questions, But No Good Answers
NDTV exclusively spoke to the Gardenia Group’s management on its plans to tackle the various problems its facing. But the group’s answers were non-committal at best.
NDTV: Why are your projects still facing delays?
Gardenia Group: Projects are delayed due to various reasons; major factors in delay of these projects are farmers agitation, NGT issues and delay in getting land acquisition because of Noida authority
NDTV: The company owes Rs 150 crores to OBC bank and another 200 crores to the Noida authority. How does it plan on repaying these?
Gardenia Group: we have time to make next installment till 30th June’2016& rest installment time has been scheduled by end of year 2019. We have also settled the issue with OBC Bank
NDTV: When will the delays be sorted out and when can your customers expect possession of their flats?
Gardenia Group: We have already started offering the ‘Possession for fit out’ work in almost all our projects. Very soon, we will hand over the project
Needless to say, the buyers who have invested in the Gardenia Group are not happy. They have now approached the apex consumer court – the National Consumer Disputes and Redressal Commission (NCDRC) for justice. The case will be heard in the next couple of months and going by the landmark judgements given in favour of homebuyers in recent time, the buyers are optimistic that they will finally get justice.
Reporter : Chankya Bhatia, NDTV
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas, NDTV