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Supertech runs into rough weather again as developers face tight scrutiny

24 May, 2016

North-based developer Supertech has faced another blow as the building plan for its 100-acre township—Upcountry—on the Yamuna Expressway has been cancelled after two successive CEOs of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) claimed that the plan was modified on the basis of a forged letter. The letter from 2011 allowed Supertech to increase its ground coverage at the cost of open area in the township. Supertech thus sold an extra 730 plots and villas for an estimated Rs 343 crore.

In 2015, two successive CEOs of YEIDA and senior IAS officers—Santosh Yadav and Anil Garg—had pointed out, after Supertech sought the completion certificate for the project, that the building plans had been modified on the basis of a forged document, The Economic Times reported. The two CEOs have now recommended that an FIR be lodged against Supertech, one of NCR’s biggest real estate players.

With 28 towers, each housing 120 residential units, 948 villas and plots, Supertech Upcountry is almost sold out, according to the builder’s website.

The builder was allotted a 100-acre plot, TS-1, in Sector 17A along the 165-km Yamuna Expressway on June 14, 2010. The then chairperson and CEO of YEIDA Mohinder Singh sanctioned the layout plan of the residential township on January 25, 2011.

However, YEIDA received a letter dated September 13, 2011, purportedly signed by ‘Secretary to the Government of UP, Alok Kumar’. The letter referred to Supertech’s proposed township, saying that since no construction had been carried out on the said plot, Supertech should be allowed to construct on TS-1 as per YEIDA’s new bylaws, which came into force in December 2010.

“Supertech had produced a letter from the government, which gave the builder the benefit of extra ground coverage due to implementation of the building bylaws of 2010. In 2015, the then YEIDA CEO Santosh Yadav was informed about the letter being fake following which a verification was carried out and the government confirmed that no such letter had been issued. Yadav had then directed that a show-cause notice be issued to the builder and an FIR be lodged,” the paper said citing a senior official.

It is learnt that the sanctioned plan of the township has been cancelled and legal advice is also being sought in the matter.

This is not the first time that Supertech has been in trouble. Recently, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority directed to seal 1,009 flats and villas at its project Czar following complaints from residents.

In February last year, the Supreme Court had directed Supertech to give back money to flat owners who had sought refund of their investments, after its 40-storey residential twin towers Apex and Ceyane in Noida were directed to be demolished by the Allahabad High Court.

Considered one of the bigger private developers in North, Supertech’s projects span across residential, commercial and retail with a major geographical focus on the Delhi-NCR market.

Homes buyers are increasingly taking on developers to fight malpractices, violations and construction delays in housing projects.

BPTP, another North-based realtor, hit the headlines recently when home buyers gathered at Jantar Mantar to protest against delays across many of its projects.   

Known for its presence in Faridabad, a slew of its projects are stuck across NCR and the developer is now selling its assets to generate cash flow and cut down debt. After selling a commercial building that also houses its head office in Gurgaon, the developer is now in talks with Godrej Properties to sign a joint venture for a land parcel along Dwarka Expressway. It is also in talks with US real estate developer Tishman Speyer to divest its 30-acre land parcel in Hyderabad’s Knowledge City.

Having seen the glut in real estate, home buyers have also started to use newer ways to protest to get their voices heard. Recently, the captain of Indian cricket team MS Dhoni had to resign as the brand ambassador of North-based Amrapali after buyers started tagging him in an online protest against the realtor.

The promoters of Unitech also faced the heat recently when two buyers dragged them to court following non-payment of refund amount after major delays in their housing project. 

The central government recently paved the way for setting up of real estate regulator—under Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)—in every state. The newly formed regulator comes as a much-needed relief for the industry as it is expected to bring in transparency and accountability in a sector largely considered opaque. The new law makes it compulsory for developers to register their projects—with all the construction details—with the regulator before launching it in the market and also imposes several other measures like escrow account and transaction on the basis of carpet area to bring end to woes of buyers.

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Supertech runs into rough weather again as developers face tight scrutiny

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