NOIDA: Given the continuing uncertainty over the fate of housing projects in Noida Extension, in a first-ever instance a prominent builder has scrapped one of its housing projects leaving a large number of homebuyers in disarray. Investors have now become wary that scrapping of the project might open a floodgate, wherein other builders might choose to back out if the stalemate continues.
A total of 76 villas — planned in three categories of 80, 100 and 120 square yards — in the Le Garden project of Ajnara Developers in Sector 16 of Greater Noida stand cancelled due to the continuing imbroglio. Around 75 of these villas had been booked by homebuyers. The average cost of a villa was around Rs 50 lakh.
“I had paid 10% of the total amount as booking charges and the developer asked me to stop further payments till the court cases were resolved,” said Rakesh Pandey, a businessman who stays in Vikaspuri in Delhi. “I was recently asked by the builder to take back my booking amount as they had scrapped the project,” added Pandey.
Most homebuyers in the project, who belong to middle-income families and have been left distraught with the decision, have been running from pillar to post in the last week, meeting officials of the construction company to figure out the next course of action.
“Construction on four 100 sq yard sample villas was in progress the last time we had visited the site. The dug up area had been filled up with rainwater and the builder had assured us that villas would be delivered within 18 months,” said K K Tripathi, a resident of Indirapuram, who had paid around Rs 8 lakh as booking amount. “The builder now says that it is in full right to cancel the project as per the terms and conditions of the builder-buyer agreement. The builder is pressuring me to take refunds, but has not issued an official letter of cancellation or termination yet,” he added.
Officials of Ajnara Developers have confirmed that the villas have been scrapped. A senior official said that the company was doing so because it had become economically unviable for it to continue with the project. “Any issue related to a construction project that lingers on for a long time without any signs of getting resolved becomes financially unviable in the long run,” said vice-president of Ajnara Developers, Vineet Sharma. “We have decided to scrap the project given this factor. However, we have offered certain options to the homebuyers to either take back the booking amount with a reasonable interest rate or to shift to any of our other projects,” said Sharma.
Industry bodies, however, expressed hope that this scrapping will not start a domino effect. “This project was planned on a very small portion of Noida Extension and may not have an impact on other projects,” said Hansraj singh, director of Noida-based real estate consultant, Investors Aura