Hundreds of non-resident Indians who have been duped to invest in properties by private developers in Gurgaon have formed groups on various websites to share experience with each other and plan actions against fraudsters.
Several online forums on Yahoo, Google and Facebook are joined by NRI investors who find themselves into the trap of property developers who charge hidden costs, sell projects much before the requisite government approvals and the worst of all, never deliver properties on time.
Vikas Chopra, who runs a travel agency in Virginia, US, joined a yahoo group which has 190 members out of the total 1,000 buyers of the township Golf Course Extension.
“All of us have already paid more than a crore each for one flat in Gurgaon and the deadline of transfer of possession got over last year in December. Still the developer doesn’t plan to hand over the delivery before June 2012,” said Vikas.
Another member of the group Kamal Abrol, staying in Gurgaon, said: “While sitting abroad, the buyers don’t get any clue about the enormity of problem they can fall into. This is the reason they come on board to plan a joint action rather than being left on the mercy of developer. No wonder, the palm drive group, which we started a year ago, has 50% of the NRI members.” Not only property owners, prospective buyers also want to join such forums. Harish Grover, who lives in California, US, said he didn't invest in any housing project because of the negative feedback he received from the online group members.
The members regularly update information on the forum. When a member tries to approach a senior executive of a developer, he enters a post on the web to take feedback from others. “Many members have met at the construction site to plan our next move. We are now planning to take a legal action, that too jointly,” said Dinesh Chopra, a co-founder.
Some of the members are ready to contribute to fund the expenses incurred on legal action. An NRI member Pradeep has posted on the group: “I am ready to give my contribution towards the legal fee when you plan to take fight a court case.”