Three years after the demolition of a 11-storeyed building, whose twin towers collapsed in 2014 at Moulivakkam, homebuyers who had invested in the property are still running from pillar to post for refund of their life investments.
While banks have forwarded the buyers to debt recovery tribunal over non-payment of equated monthly installments (EMIs), the developer has put the property up for sale.
Septuagenarian Ramamoorthy is one of the 76 buyers who lost his life’s savings after his dream home collapsed in seconds. The price range of apartment units varied from 55 lakh to 75 lakh. “We had invested 60 lakh for booking a 1,400 square feet apartment. Our entire post-retirement benefits went into buying the single apartment,” the retired government employee said.
The twin multi-storey building complex named ‘Trust Heights’ had two towers titled as ‘Faith’ and ‘Belief’. As construction comprising 84 units with two and three BHKs was being executed on full swing, the 11-storey ‘Faith’ collapsed on June 28, 2014, killing 61 persons, mostly construction workers. Three years down the line, the state government pulled down the second structure that stood a few metres away citing safety reasons on November 2, 2016.
Ratna Mishra, another homebuyer in Moulivakkam, said that most of the customers have paid about 70% to 80% of their total payment. “We are suffering for no fault of our’s. The government authorities claim there were issues with the foundation of the structure after the building collapsed. Why did the planning authority (CMDA) that provided approval for the twin towers failed to monitor its constructions?”she asked.
The homebuyers have filed a case with the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission seeking refund of their investments even as bankers have filed cases against those who availed home loan. “There is no support from the government to redress our grievances,” Ratna said.
Meanwhile, the developer is attempting to sell the property to pay off buyers. M Manohar, managing director of Prime Sristi Housing Private Limited which built the twin towers, could not be reached for comments.