HYDERABAD: The beleaguered Aliens Space Station project, it appears, isn’t the only piece of bad news streaming in from the realty industry in the city. A scan of Hyderabad’s western corridor suggests that there are several other names on this ‘sick’ list – some of them prominent market players. With delays of anywhere between three to five years to their discredit, these construction companies have left customers battling tough financial (and even legal) battles while waiting endlessly to set foot in their dream homes.
The price tags these houses come with range anywhere between Rs 38 and 60 lakh.
“We have reached a stage of helplessness. Running homes while paying hefty EMIs has become a regular struggle. The developer’s false assurances and complete lack of concern has only made things more difficult,” rued an aggrieved buyer, Amit J, of the Bengaluru-based Mantri Group’s Celestia project in Gachibowli. Three of the six towers here are running three-five years behind schedule.
This, despite the 600-odd buyers paying up over 90% of the total property price.
Such is the level of frustration among customers that taking an “extreme step like self-immolation” isn’t an impossibility, they fear. “The developer has committed a breach of trust. From Day 1, they have kept us in the dark,” alleged another ‘C’ block customer, Abishek A, accusing the builder of diverting money towards other more profitable (read: commercial) projects.
Industry analysts second the charge. “This unhealthy practice is what has spelled doom for most. Some of them have collected huge sums of money from buyers for personal ventures. Now, they are struggling to find a way out. Investors who’ve put their money in groups like Mantri, Aliens and Legend, in particular, are in deep trouble now,” said a senior real estate consultant from the city.
Roughly 10 km away from Celestia, the Aditya Construction Company’s Imperial Heights is no different, rue customers. Supposed to be ready by mid-2013, the project is still uninhabitable.
“I bought it in 2012, and almost four years later, I’m told that it will take another year to be ready. From what I saw in 2012 to now, the progress has probably been 10%. And yet, every month, I’m paying an EMI of Rs 30,000. Some advised me to seek legal help, but apparently the consumer court is flooded with such cases and like the Alien case showed, builders like Hari Challa can go scot-free,” rued Raj Dutta, who blocked a home in the project‘s H block.
Now, owners allege the developer is arm-twisting them into taking possession of the unfinished flats for “interior works”. “Why should I do that if my house is not complete?” said an agitated S V Reddy, who paid almost Rs 40 lakh upfront while booking the apartment in 2011. While he was assured that it would be ready by 2013, that clearly hasn’t happened. “Broken walls, peeling plaster, shoddy electrical work, broken grills, a clubhouse which barely has a slab…,” is how Dutta describes the current state of the project.
So is there a way out? Not really, fear market observers. “It is a fact that there is a cash flow crunch in the market. So developers and buyers have no choice but to drag their feet till the market starts to look up again,” said realtor Shailender Singh.
While Aditya Construction Company officials could not be reached for comment, Snehal Mantri, director, marketing & HR, of Mantri Group admitted that the project is delayed. “It is delayed, but now we are announcing the possession…April onwards for interiors and final possession by August 16,” she said.
Credits ET Realty