NBCC ready to complete Unitech projects, SC told
State-run builder NBCC India Ltd is willing to take over unfinished housing projects from realtor Unitech and complete construction within a stipulated time, the Union government told Supreme Court on Monday in yet another case where the administration will need to step in after homebuyers were left in the lurch.
The proposal, which includes setting up a new committee to monitor the construction, was made at a hearing in connection with a case filed by Unitech homebuyers, who say that 16,000 flats have been partially or fully paid for but are yet to be handed over.
Attorney General KK Venugopal submitted the NBCC roadmap to a bench of justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah. “We have suggested a court-appointed panel to oversee the completion of the project,” he told the bench. NBCC sought Rs. 50 crore as construction fee and 2% of the entire project for due-diligence before it undertakes the construction work. The committee, the NBCC suggested, will arrange for funds as required and approve sample flats.
Homebuyers, however, opposed NBCC’s proposal. Advocate ML Lahoty said the roadmap is not similar to the one it had shared in the Amrapali case, another real estate project where tens of thousands of homebuyers are yet to receive what they have paid for. “We strongly disagree with this demand of advance of Rs. 50 crore before it takes over pending projects,” Lahoty argued.
The counsel also pointed out that the panel suggested by the NBCC must have a representative of homebuyers too.
Aishwarya Sinha, another lawyer appearing for homebuyers, expressed concern over the capability of the NBCC to carry out the construction work since the company will take over the Amrapali and possible projects of Jaypee as well.
Venugopal said initially L&T put forth a proposal, but later refused to take over the project. The bench then clarified that NBCC’s proposal would be vetted by the committee led by a retired high court judge.
The judges also suggested that NBCC not execute the work and only oversee the construction process. “The work might be subcontracted if required,” the bench said.
The bench directed advocate Pawan Shree Agarwal, assisting the court in the matter, to upload the NBCC proposal on the website for homebuyers to go through the proposal. The court has asked the homebuyers’ to submit their suggestions by August 2 and fixed August 9 to hear the matter again.