Nightmare in paradise for 5,000 Ghaziabad residents
Seven years after they moved into a project named Paradise in Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad, the residents are plagued by thefts, water and power problemsrealestate Updated: Mar 17, 2013 15:50 IST
What happens when a builder completes a project and hands over the apartments to his customers? Going by the law books, a resident welfare association should be set up immediately to look after the maintenance, upkeep and other facilities of the project and ensure the residents live peacefully. However, what if that does not happen? Then life – as it has for 5000 residents of Parsvnath Paradise in Mohan Nagar, Ghaziabad - can become a virtual hell.
They have no water supply. Ground water is being pumped up for use by families – so much for a depleting water table. There’s no sewage treatment. At night, the area is plunged in darkness as there are no streetlights. And thefts are rampant because there is no security.
“There is an utter chaos in the society. Three years ago, the electricity department was not paid and disconnected the power supply for maintenance of common facilities, so water supply and sewage treatment stopped and streetlights went off. Then, the security guards were withdrawn for lack of funds. Now every other day there is a theft in the society. Roads inside the colony are broken and potholed,” alleges Anuranjana Tyagi, a resident of the society.
Poor sanitation, unauthorised construction and unabated encroachment, too, add to the residents’ problems, Tyagi adds.
So who is responsible for the mess? The residents blame the RWA office bearers, who hold the developer responsible, who in turn puts the blame on the residents.
Built in collaboration with Parsvnath Developers Limited and Delhi Iron and Steel Company Limited (DISCO), the project was launched in the beginning of 2000. DISCO, which owns 25 acres of land here got a license from Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) for construction of a low-rise group housing society. It signed an MoU with Parsvnath and by 2004-05 offered possession to its customers.
Both DISCO and Parsvnath today say they have nothing to do with the residents’ problems as they completed the project and delivered possession of the apartments six years ago. Sunit Sachar, senior vice president, Parsvnath Developers Limited, says “I constructed the society as per the sanctioned plan, got 95% completion certificate from the GDA, handed over everything to the residents and moved out from there. I am not responsible for the mess they have created now.”
However, contrary to Sachar’s claim, when HT Estates checked GDA records, we found that the developer had not acquired a completion certificate. A senior GDA officer says “People have been living in Parsvnath Paradise from 2005. However, the society is yet to get a completion certificate, a mandatory provision in GDA’s building by-laws for a developer before he offers possession to homebuyers. GDA should have taken strict action and penalised the developer, but it is unfortunate that the homebuyers have been made to suffer for the unexplained leniency on the part of GDA.”
RWA members, too, have alleged that the developer has not delivered facilities such as community centre and club promised to them. “Due to non-adherence to the sanctioned plan, GDA will never give a completion certificate to the society, and the society will, thus, not be handed over to the Nagar Nigam. So, the residents are going to continue facing problems until they themselves take the responsibility to maintain the society,” adds the GDA official.
A senior officer from DISCO, however, contradicts this and says, “We already have a completion certificate and GDA has tried to handover the colony to Nagar Nigam but there is some problem between the two. We have nothing to do with that. There is no illegality from our side.”
Another bone of contention between the developer and the residents is the interest-free maintenance security (IFMS) which Parsvnath had collected from the buyers when it had sold the flats.
Parsvnath claims that it handed over the IFMS to the facility management company which had the contract for the society’s regular maintenance.
“Since the residents don’t pay the maintenance amount, the IFMS was exhausted in a few months and the company suffered losses. It claimed that the amount due from the residents amounted to more than R67.79 lakh and left the society,” says an officer-bearer from DISCO who does not want to be named.
However, the residents allege that there has been no audit of the facility management company’s claim about the money it received from the residents and its expenses.
RWA, residents face off over maintenance moneyWhat makes matters worse for Parsvnath Paradise is the bitter feuding between the residents and the RWA officer bearers.
Almost three years ago when the facilities management company left the society claiming that arrears of R67,79,605 had not been paid, there had been four RWAs, each trying to be the true representative body of the residents. The residents then managed bring together all the four into one registered resident welfare association in 2012, which was empowered to collect money and maintain the colony.
In the RWA election of 2012, Sandeep Khanna, a resident of the society became president. Now many residents are not happy with the way the association functions.
“In one year, there has been no general body meeting. The security guards were withdrawn just a month ago as the president says he does not have the money to pay them. We have complained against the RWA president to the Registrar of Societies, Meerut, and demanded that he be suspended,” says Tyagi.
When asked for his response, Sandeep Khanna dismisses all these allegations and says that more than half of the residents don’t pay monthly maintenance so he is left with no money for security guards, street lights and sanitation of the society. “My term is for two years and even though the residents have resisted it, I have made a move to get an election held on April 14, 2012. I want to prove that I am fair. The allegations against me are baseless.”
When HT Estates contacted Registrar of Societies, Meerut, senior assistant P K Pradhan confirmed receiving complaints against the president and said a notice had been issued to Khanna.