24 years & counting: Mumbai homebuyers wait for their dream home
About 160 members invested Rs 15,000 each for a property in Dahisar (East); the builder failed to deliver the flats, went bankrupt and sold the land to another developer
The recent Campa Cola compound case and all the hoopla around it has made present homebuyers cautious; they now prefer scrutinising building plans before investing in any property. However, 24 years ago, homebuyers had limited sources of information to find the details or background of their invested property.
The plot in Dahisar (East) currently is under construction by the new builder. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Take the case of 160 investors, who in 1990, chipped in their hard-earned Rs 15,000 each for a property in Dahisar (East), to be developed by one Rajesh Builders and Associates. Twenty-four years later, the people are still waiting to live in their dream house.
While some members say that they shouldn’t have believed in the word-of-mouth publicity of the project, others regret not taking up ready-possession flats elsewhere when they had a chance. The group had come together and proposed the name ‘Bhavishya Yog’ for the development project. However, by 1992, even after pressure from the members, the builders were still dragging their feet about starting the construction.
It was at that time that they found out that the invested land was reserved for industrial development. It took the builders another seven years to convert the industrial area into residential land. In 1999, when they were still hopeful about the commencement of construction work, the builders went bankrupt. According to the investors, during bankruptcy, the builders sold half of the plot to another developer.
By 2008, the new developer started work and claimed the older investors had no claim in any flats in his project. The members approached the sessions court, but lost the case. Hoping to get their land back and the dream of their home, they have now taken the case to the Thane High Court, where it is underway.
We have suffered for the last 24 years and our hard-earned money has gone down the drain. Our Rs 15,000 has gone, and after suffering severely for all these years, the builder has sold the property to another developer and is enjoying its benefits. - Madhav Patil, member of the proposed Bhavishya Yog
We’ve faced a lot issues in this investment and have been cheated. A new tower is under construction on the same land. We have spent a lot of our money in this, which if I calculate today is a substantial amount. We are hoping for a positive result in the hearing. - Anil Gavas, member of the proposed Bhavishya Yog
The other side
The developer, however, has another story to narrate altogether. Shailesh Kapoor, one of the partners at Rajesh Builder and Associates, said, “The members who participated in the package deal, failed to pay the balance amount. Hence, they do not have any right on the land or its acquisition. We have offered to pay back the booking amount, but they have refused and are demanding a house.”
The number of floors the building was supposed to have
The proposed number of apartments on each floor