With the arrest of Pearls Group chairman-cummanaging director (CMD) Nirmal Singh Bhangoo in the Rs 45,000-crore Pearls ponzi scam, the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) has now refused to take over and develop Sectors 100 and 104 owned by the group in SAS Nagar.
With this, around Rs 1,500 crore of over 2,000 allottees has been put at stake. Of the 2,000 allottees, 700 have already registered their plots with GMADA and over 100 allottees have constructed houses in these sectors.
Both these sectors don’t have sewerage connections, internal roads and streetlights. Moreover, there is no electricity in Sector 100.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also frozen the maintenance account of the group. The maintenance staff of Pearls Group has also left the venue as workers have not been paid salaries for the past five months.
Expressing helplessness, GMADA officials say they cannot take over or develop the sectors till they get a clearance from the CBI.
Finding themselves at the receiving end, the allottees have decided to hold a protest against GMADA saying when it has taken Rs 700 crore as licence fee and external development charges from Pearls Group, why is it not developing the sectors? They also questioned how GMADA approved the sectors.
Although Pearls Group launched these sectors in 2005, the area has seen no development to date. Initially, the group decided to allot the plots in these two sectors at Rs 12,000 per square yard, but the rate was later increased to Rs 30,000 per square yard. Both these sectors have 700 plots ranging between 150 and 500 square yard.
When contacted, GMADA additional chief administrator Sukhjit Pal Singh said: “We cannot do anything at this stage as the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have registered cases against the group. GMADA cannot take over these sectors without the completion certificate. We can help them after clearance from investigating agencies,” he said.
Pearl City Mohali Residents’ Welfare Association president Kulbeer Singh Sidhu said: “We don’t know where to go? Most of the allottees have taken loans from banks and are paying instalments for the past 10 years. We will protest against the GMADA authorities. GMADA should take over these sectors and complete the development works.”
Senior marketing manager, Pearls Group, Gurpinder Singh Brar said: “Since the accounts are frozen, we cannot carry out development works. Plots are being registered in Sector 104.”
However, the allottees say no plot has been registered in the past 10 days.