From ET Realty
HYDERABAD: Nearly a decade post its glitzy launch, the multi-crore Aliens Space Station-I project has turned into a nightmare for its 400-odd customers. With no house in sight and hefty bank loans against their names, many of these buyers have been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy.
That the police, despite a string of consumer court orders and complaints, have failed to take any action against the firm’s bigwigs, has only further added to their woes. Even the political class, sadly, has turned its back on them paying little heed to the repeated representations submitted over the past many years.
Anuradha Subramanyam’s case is particularly heartbreaking. Over the five years she signed up for a ‘dream’ home in the Tellapur-based project, Anuradha has not just lost a sizeable share of her financial assets but also her husband, Bala Subramanyam, in December 2015. What she’s left with now is a Rs 14 lakh bank loan – that she’s struggling to clear — and constant ‘harassment’ by Aliens Group. “Knowing well that my husband had passed away, and perhaps assuming that I would be in dire need of a home, they called me with an offer of a ready-to-occupy house. The catch was, I had to pay almost double the price,” said the aggrieved customer who’d initially booked a property worth Rs 45 lakh (approx).
Aliens has now demanded she cough up Rs 80 lakh if she wants a house!
While software engineer, Surinder Kumar, who has literally been ‘blacklisted’ by banks because of his deal with the construction company, had hoped that the non-bailable warrant issued by the Ranga Reddy district consumer court would put an end to his miseries, it hasn’t been the case. “The warrant was issued in December 2014 after the firm failed to adhere by its judgment of returning my money with 18% interest. But the police has still not acted on it. I have now written to the state’s director general of police (letter dated February 29), Anurag Sharma, to look into the matter,” Kumar lamented.
In 2011 Aliens had entered into an agreement with the buyer to pay his EMIs till the handover of the property. However, it soon discontinued the payment citing cash crunch.
Kumar had availed a loan of Rs 21 lakh for the house.
Such tales of absolute hopelessness are aplenty. If retired executive Hari Shankar Jain has lost all his savings to this project compelling him to move into a modest rented accommodation, IT professional Alok Shukla is struggling to recover the money he loaned from his father. Even after a state consumer court order, issued in February, that has instructed Aliens to return his principal amount with 12% interest (from the respective date of payment), Shukla has little hope of recovery.
But the flood of complaints and appeals from distraught buyers notwithstanding, the police appear to be in no hurry to nail the alleged offenders. “The delay in filing the chargesheet is not because of a delay in investigation. In fact, the chargesheet has been ready for over two months. But each time we consult a financial expert on the matter they make some additions. We hope to be able to finalise it in another two-three days,” said B Sumathi, superintendent of police, Medak (under whose jurisdiction the area falls), in reference to the FIRs filed against the firm’s management last year.
It may be recalled that in March 2015 the Ramachandrapuram police had even arrested Aliens Group managing director Hari Challa on charges of cheating (Section 420) and breach of trust (Section 406). Customers had accused Aliens of defrauding them of over Rs 500 crore. But, two months later, Challa secured bail.
In fact, Challa still maintains that his “project is on track”. “We have already delivered 80-100 homes. By the end of this year we will have another 400 units ready. The project has been delayed but is still going on. We are now in talks with some groups to get foreign investment for the project,” he told TOI on Tuesday.
Of the total 2,182 flats, only 160-170 have been made ready
Of the 13 towers, each with 29 floors towers, only one has been ‘structurally’ completed
Of the total project cost of Rs 1,000 crore, 50% already collected from buyers
Several court orders, regarding payment of damages/handover of homes, not honoured yet