Haryana’s town and country planning department (DTCP) says it has cancelled the licences of and taken over 15 stalled real estate projects across the state. The step, which comes days after the state-run National Buildings Construction Company (NBCC) was roped in to revive Amrapali’s unfinished projects in Noida, indicates government intervention to rescue troubled real estate projects could no longer be unusual, at least not in NCR where housing projects are running years behind schedule.
DTCP’s “takeover” involves all aspects of a project, including security deposits, an official said, so that the department could complete them on its own. None of the 15 Haryana projects that have lost licences is comparable to Amrapali’s in scale. They are mostly small and medium-sized projects, both housing and commercial, with around 1,000 buyers collectively. Nine of them are in Gurugram, followed by Karnal (3), Faridabad (2) and Hisar (1).
The licences were cancelled on the orders of Jitender Sihag, DTCP’s chief town planner. Officials said the developers have around Rs 200 crore outstanding as external development charge (EDC) dues for the projects, all of which are in different stages of construction. “The developers have been restrained from sale, purchase or transaction in these projects. The licences have been cancelled and projects taken over by the director, DTCP,” Bhuvesh Kumar, senior town planner, Gurugram, told TOI.
The developers have been offered a window of 60 days to appeal. If they clear dues and remove other discrepancies pointed by the DTCP, the licence can be revived, an official said. If they fail to do so, DTCP will seize the bank guarantee and other assets.
Kumar said buyers will not be financially affected. “Buyers have to produce their agreement and the government will serve their liability at the same rate at which they had purchased it from the builder. The government will give the buyers either the property they booked or the money they have already paid, which will be recovered from the bank guarantee and other assets of the builder. Buyers won’t be affected,” said Kumar.
Projects to be hit in Gurugram include a commercial complex in Sector 110, which is to come upon a 10.25-acre plot. Though the licence is valid up to August 22, 2019, the developer could neither rectify deficiencies pointed out by the DTCP nor deposit outstanding EDC dues. Another licence for a commercial project in Sector 81A on a 10.8-acre plot was cancelled for non-compliance, EDC dues of Rs 64.65 crore, and non-renewal of the licence which was valid up to December 9, 2017.
Similarly, the licence of a commercial project in Sector 95A, on a plot measuring four acres, was cancelled because the licence has not been renewed (it was valid till July 25, 2017), non-compliance with DTCP suggestions and outstanding EDC dues. Other projects include commercial colonies on 10.4 acres in Sector 88, and on 2.4 acres in Sector 102, besides an affordable group housing colony in Sector 84 on 5.1 acres.