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Lessons from Indirapuram

A state-of-the-art gymnasium, lush green parks, sauna, jacuzzi, free club membership, swimming pool – the list of goodies goes on, writes Ruchi Hajela.

india Updated: Dec 17, 2007 22:42 IST
Ruchi Hajela

What is promised: Luxury apartments, swimming pools, clubs, squash courts, lawn-facing apartments et al
What you get: Delayed possession, difference in quality, poor infrastructure support

A state-of-the-art gymnasium, lush green parks, sauna, jacuzzi, free club membership, swimming pool –the list of goodies goes on. These are the common frills you come across in any property advertisement these days. After all, with all the nice things that are promised, the money at stake does appear to be worth it. However, it would be wise to look for intricate details before you book a property.

A case in point is the upcoming township of Indirapuram in Ghaziabad, which has become hot property since the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) opened it for auction in 2003. “Indirapuram is spread over 1,300 acres of land and has existing or upcoming townships from over 40 builders,” Anil Garg, Chief Engineer, GDA told Hindustan Times.

However, the story is different on the surface. While you are made to pay more for the land now because of the Metro Rail that will come up a few years later, there is a complete lack of infrastructure in terms of road and public transport if you were to stay in Indirapuram today.

Projects are getting delayed by six months to even a year. Take the case of Jaipuria Sunrise Greens, one of the biggest projects in Indirapuram, that has 16 towers with around 1,103 apartments. The project has been delayed by almost one year. Though the buyer’s agreement carries a penalty clause wherein delayed possession will have the builder pay to the buyer an amount of Rs 5 per square feet on a monthly basis, the amount is negligible when compared to the cost of the land varying between Rs 1,146 to Rs 1,857 per square foot. Even then, there is no guarantee on whether you will even get that much. “We were supposed to get possession of our flat by March 31 this year, failing which we were supposed to get penalty from the builder. However, the builder is paying penalty with effect from July 1, 2007 and that too till the time the lift is installed in a particular block. The flats are still in a raw condition,” says a buyer of Jaipuria Sunrise Greens. We got in touch with the company for their views but did not hear from them till the time of filing the story.

Another example is that of the Shipra Sun City projects, built by the Shipra Group, a name that has become synonymous with Ghaziabad. The Group has almost 11,000 apartments across its Shipra Sun City projects. However, there are a number of complaints against Shipra Krishna Vista, the possession of which has also been delayed. “We were supposed to have got the possession of our house in June this year. However, we are still waiting and each time we speak to the agent we are asked to wait for another few weeks. This despite the fact that we made a cash down payment for the property,” informs a buyer on condition of anonymity. “Forget the green lawns and pools that were promised, the towers do not even have a lift till date,” she adds.

“In the past we have delivered projects on or before time and it isn't as if projects normally get delayed,” Mohit Singh, Managing Director, Shipra Group, told Hindustan Times in defence. “A delay of up to six months is normal,” informed a marketing executive casually when we visited the builder's marketing office located in Indirapuram. “Mostly delays occur due to reasons like cash escalation and cash shortage for the builder, improper planning and a shortage of contractors,” informs Sanjeev Srivastava, MD, Assotech Builders.

Buyers also complain that there are discrepancies from what was promised to them at the time of signing the contract. “When I booked the flat I was told that the lobby would face a green patch. However, when I finally moved in, the patch had been replaced by a road,” said S. K. Shroff, sitting in Shipra Sun City's marketing office.

Shroff isn't the only one. “The builder has charged an amount of Rs 2,00,000 as preferential location charge, which is a charge one has to pay if one wants to get a view of the park from one’s flat. We had also paid this amount, but are not getting the view of the park due to construction of a RCC band right in front of our balconies. The balcony size has been cut, whereas the builder charged more money from us in the name of variation in the size of the unit as we were told the completed unit will be bigger than what was shown to us,” adds the buyer of Jaipuria's Sunrise Greens.

Apart from these, basic infrastructural issues have also to be dealt with. Nothing exists in the name of public transport as of now and you have to have your own conveyance. Indirapuram is essentially connected by one highway connecting Delhi with the Ghaziabad, and this is a area prone to traffic jams.

Roads inside the zone have not really been constructed. In terms of power, the area which falls in Uttar Pradesh, does not have sufficient sub- stations to meet the demand of electricity. In Shipra Sun Towers, the builder is supplying electricity on its behalf, which should ideally be provided by the GDA. “The sub-station installed here is low capacity and we will be setting up another one in Indirapuram in the next eight months,” says SK Diwedi, Vice Chairman, GDA. Garg adds that the drainage system in the locality is not proper at present. “We are working on the drainage system, and on constructing wider roads. For electricity, Indirapuram has two 132KV stations at present whereas four are required. We have recently started working on two more stations which should be in place in another six to eight months,” says Garg.