As many as 400 people gathered outside the head office of Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) in Bandra East on Saturday to protest against the real estate company’s inability to give them possession of flats in the HDIL Premiere Residence. The buyers claimed that the company had assured them of providing them possession by 2012. Around 1,035 houses in HDIL Premiere Residence in Kurla West were sold and most of the owners had been kept on hold since 2011.
Protestors demand possession of their homes outside the HDIL Tower in Bandra on Saturday. Pic/Atul Kamble
This protest was followed by another group of home buyers of Galaxy Apartments in Kurla East, another project by HDIL group. After an hour’s wait for the Director, Rakesh Wadhwan, the Executive Director, Joseph Putthatu, met around 350 people, who had gathered to ask for the possession letter. Many of them have made 85 to 100 per cent payments.
During the discussion, Putthatu asked them to pay an additional amount, as they have built additional amenities for them. Also, they were asked to claim the possession in person. But the people protested that it’s an illegal demand and they want this demand to be delivered in writing, which the builder had been ignoring for a long time.
“The dreams of over a thousand home owners are at stake, as HDIL is withholding possession. Most of the owners are now caught between paying the EMI towards the bank loan, while HDIL merrily enjoys the hard-earned monies of gullible home purchasers,” said Krishnan Venkatesh, one of the investors.
Iqbal Mulani, another home buyer said, “I had booked a 1BHK flat in March 2009 and I haven’t received its possession yet. This would have been my first home in the city and it was our dream to move into it. Our present dwelling is too small to accommodate my wife and three kids. The builder, HDIL, has now demanded R 3,60,000 from me for the balcony portion, which they had never mentioned earlier. It isn’t possible for everyone to afford so much in such a short time.”
A spokesperson from HDIL, however, said that they are ready with the Premier and Galaxy projects in Kurla and the company has already initiated handing over flats to home buyers. “Additional payments, if any, taken for various utilities are fully accounted and duly acknowledged receipt is given to every buyer and for every payment made. Thereby, the company has paid all requisite taxes and every transaction is registered as required for by the laws of the land.”
I received a letter by HDIL that said pay the final payment and the additional money in order to start possession formalities. According to the agreement, the balcony is inclusive of the property and recent laws that have passed also doesn’t support this. They also said the additional amount includes flower bed and duct area. This is absurd. They just want to loot us.
— Shabnam Latiwala
I have invested all my money by selling my house in Thane. This demand is not right.
— A.J Bhati
We want a written letter from the builder asking us for the demand. And why is it that they want the additional money in cash and not through cheque?
— Anthony Mendonsa