Home buyers were left in the lurch after the Supreme Court refused to entertain real estate firm Jaypee Infratech’s plea to direct Noida Authority to grant completion certificates to its projects falling within a 10-km radius of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary.
The apex court’s decision has an immediate impact on at least 30,000 flats and puts into doubt the fate of another 70,000 under-construction flats in the long term, builders estimated.
After the apex court’s decision, home buyers said they were utterly at sea. After investing their money into projects they felt would lead to their dream homes, home buyers said all they could do now was hope for the best. “I don’t know what to think or do. Our hard-earned money is at stake here,” said Krina Sanjiv Roy, a home buyer who has already invested Rs 34 lakh, over 50 per cent of the total cost for a 3-BHK apartment with Jaypee Group.
Other home buyers, who have invested money in other projects, expressed a similar anguish. Many pinned the blame on builders and the Noida Authority for not pointing out irregularities at an earlier stage.
“Right now, all we have been getting are assurances. The Noida Authority or the builder shouldn’t have begun this if there is a case of some wrongdoing. My flat is 9.6 km away from the park and is almost complete. Yet, I can’t get it and I don’t know when I will,” said Puja Aeron, who has paid the entire cost for an apartment with Homes 121 project of the real estate firm Gulshan Homz.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had restrained the Noida Authority from issuing completion certificates with respect to buildings and other constructions within a 10-km radius of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary or within the distance of eco-sensitive zone till approvals from the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) were accorded to these projects.
Appearing for Jaypee Infratech, senior advocate A M Singhvi had pointed out that around 4,000 flats constructed by the firm were ready for handover and a great humanitarian problem would arise if completion certificates were not issued since homes buyers had paid almost 95 per cent of sale consideration.
After the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the plea, home buyers who contacted Jaypee were told that the firm would be approaching the Supreme Court again.
“As soon as I heard about the decision, I got in touch with Jaypee. I was told that they would be approaching the Supreme Court again to reconsider,” Roy said.
The Supreme Court had said it found no merit to interfere with the interim directive of the NGT and that it was appropriate for the Central government to examine the cases of approvals. “We can currently do nothing, but wait. We will wait for the Centre’s response,” said Askari Zaidi, spokesperson, Jaypee Group.
- Aniruddha Goshal