The Ghaziabad development authority (GDA) has cancelled its housing scheme launched in 2014 for aspiring house owners from economically weaker sections (EWS) and lower income groups (LIG). Under the scheme, private developers were asked to develop 10% flats each for the two categories in their housing projects, but they failed to deliver.
The authority has now decided to immediately refund an estimated Rs 28 crore to applicants from the two categories. According to officials, the amount would be returned without interest as it will be refunded within a year of the launch of the scheme, a condition already included in the application brochure.
“The private developers are not in a position to deliver the flats. They have not sent us any numbering plans etc. and there has been no physical handover of flats to applicants so far. So, the special committee of GDA recommended cancellation of the scheme,” said Ishtiyaq Ahmed, chief architect and town planner of the authority.
The scheme, offering nearly 2,000 flats, was launched in the end of 2014. Developers were asked to construct 10% flats each for the two categories as per the guidelines of the state government. As per official estimates, almost 20,000 applicants had applied for flats under the scheme.
Authority officials said that they have identified nearly 20 private developers who failed to construct the flats and action will be taken against them. A number of these developers are from the upcoming Raj Nagar Extension (RNE) area.
“We will not be issuing completion certificates for their projects as they have flouted government directions. The developers have also kept some part of their land and bank guarantee with us. We are exploring possibilities to hold these back,” Ahmed said.
Official sources said that under the scheme, projects ranging from 4,000 square metres (sqm) to under 40,000 sqm were offered extra floor area ratio if they built flats for the EWS and LIG groups. For projects that were 40,000 sqm or more it was mandatory to construct such flats.
However, developers said that they have acted in accordance with a 2013 government order allowing them to pay the GDA a ‘shelter fee’ if they didn’t construct the flats. In such a case, the authority had to develop the flats from the shelter fee received.
“Our area (RNE) has very few of projects that are 40,000 sqm or more in area. Several developers have already paid the shelter fee. Other developers are developing the flats as they are bound by the conditions,” said Gaurav Gupta, general secretary, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai), RNE..