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Builders bring down houses

The CBI has registered cases against 97 co-op group-housing societies in the Rs 4,000-crore scam, reports Aruna P Sharma.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 02:37 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation has completed the formalities and registered preliminary enquiry cases against 97 co-operative group-housing societies in the Rs 4,000-crore scam.

With this a crackdown on the builders who had bought government subsidised land from middlemen and converted them into trendy multi-storeyed flats that dot Dwarka has become imminent.

The Hindustan Times had first reported the bungling in the housing societies that have already been allotted land in Dwarka when the probe was still restricted to the bungling in 135 societies that were awaiting land allotment.

While most of the middlemen, forgers and officials involved in reviving defunct societies are either behind bars or have been suspended, the builders are yet to be brought to book and are having a free run. According to available information, some of them have heavy political patronage and have become big time builders and developers in Gurgaon, Noida, Jaipur and Ghaziabad.

Some of the societies where CBI has registered preliminary enquiry cases on the basis of report sent by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, include Brahma, Vijay, Nishat, Guru Ramdas, Gulistan, Sri Ganesh, Manokamna, Sri Durga, Samrat Ashoka and Crown Apartments. CBI officials said that these are open-ended inquiries and will be converted into regular cases once those who committed the crime are identified. The societies case is to come up for hearing in the Delhi High Court next week.

Though the Registrar of Co-operative Societies has put a freeze on the allotment of the flats in the societies under probe, there is no let-up in the pace of construction. The apartment buildings are being completed at great speed and many are being given the finishing touches.

The CBI in its crackdown raids on August 1 had raided builders Ajit Singh (the most influential among builders), Yogeshwar Rastogi and Sandeep Sawhney who used to buy societies from middlemen SP Saxena and Srichand. There are a few more builders who are active in the Dwarka's builder circuit.

Builders like Trishul and Odeon are reportedly handling eight to ten projects each in the new sectors like Sector 18 and Sector 19-B where the last lot of allotments were made by DDA in 2003. JK Badhwar who is said to be closely associated with DDA's suspended Lands Director, is the builder of Badhwar, Bhagwati and Vijay Apartments in Sector 18.

Bhagwati society's architect is engaged by Trishul Builders as well as another builder VK Bhatia and used to carry out liaison with DDA's Planning Department, sources said. Bhatia was at one time also president of federation of co-operative societies and used to look after all litigation work relating to societies, brokers in Dwarka said, while pointing out that all the builders, architects and middlemen were working in tandem with officials of RCS and DDA.

Brahma and Sri Ganesh apartments too are connected with SP Saxena and his associate MM Sharma.

Builders have also bought societies close to each other and this can be easily identified by the similarity in architectural designs. For example Seth Vihar and Satyam CGHS are owned by Sanjeev Malhotra. Manokamna, Akriti, Kirti Maan and Prem Milan owned by builder Devinder Maan are clustered together in Sector 18.