UK firm pulls out investment from GBP Group: Hopes of 2,500 investors dashed, 500 crore hanging in balance

Allottees were hopeful that the pending projects would be revived after SRAM & MRAM Group invested 700 crore in June this year
At two projects of the GBP Group – Athens (residential and commercial) and Aeroze (residential) – both on the Airport road in Mohali, construction has remained stalled for years. (HT FIle Photo/for representation only)
At two projects of the GBP Group – Athens (residential and commercial) and Aeroze (residential) – both on the Airport road in Mohali, construction has remained stalled for years. (HT FIle Photo/for representation only)
Published on Sep 24, 2021 02:05 AM IST
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By Hillary Victor, Mohali

Over 2,500 allottees’ hopes for revival of long-pending realty projects have all but vanished with global conglomerate SRAM & MRAM Group pulling out its 700-crore investment committed to the GBP Group.

While managing director Satish Gupta remains off the grid, all offices of the GBP (Gupta Builders and Promoters Private Limited) Group, in and around Mohali, stay locked, leaving allottees in the lurch.

The realty firm has several ongoing projects in Mohali. Among them, Camelia, offering both residential and commercial units, in Kharar, and GBP Centrum (commercial) in Zirakpur have been under construction since 2016, with not a single allottee given possession.

At two other projects – Athens (residential and commercial) and Aeroze (residential) – both on the Airport road, construction has remained stalled for years, and at a residential colony in New Chandigarh, where plots have been sold, construction has not even begun.

Nearly 500 crore, invested by over 2,500 people from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pardesh, Jammu and Kashmir, and several NRIs, are riding on these projects.

Criteria not met, investment pulled out

In June this year, UK-based SRAM & MRAM Group had signed an agreement with the GBP Group to invest around 700 crore in its projects, giving allottees new hope. But it has now backed out.

In a letter to the GBP Group, director (finance), SRAM & MRAM Group, Thomas Mathew stated, “Our teams have verified all the documents and other information available through other sources. We are unable to proceed further with the investment proposal due to non-fulfilment of criteria of internal policy and guidelines.”

“While we have already paid them the first instalment of 6.5 crore, they failed to fulfil the criteria. So, the investment will be cancelled,” Chaittnya Aggarwal, director, SRAM & MRAM Group, India, told HT.

MD on the run, facing several cases

GBP Group’s managing director Satish, Gupta, who could not be contacted as his mobile phone was switched off, is already facing multiple cases in Mohali and Chandigarh.

“One FIR is registered in Mullanpur for carving out plots without permission. There are several complaints by allottees as well. Gupta and his family remain at large,” said Mohali senior superintendent of police (SSP) Satinder Singh.

In Chandigarh, Harjit Kaur, deputy superintendent of police (DSP), economic offence wing, said, “We have also received several complaints against the builder, who is already booked in two cases for selling commercial sites in Sector 66 without the approval of the Punjab Real Estate Regulatory Authority.”

What the investors say

“I invested 67 lakh in a hotel site at GBP Centrum in 2019. But two years later, construction has not progressed. The MD and his family are absconding, and giving us no answers,” said Kush Bagroy, an investor from Mohali.

In the same boat, Murthi Devi, an investor from Panipat, said, “ 45 lakh of my hard-earned money is riding on a food court at GBP Centrum. I paid the money in February 2020, but they sold the same area to another person too. We have been visiting their office, but it remains locked.”

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Thursday, October 28, 2021