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Two towers illegal, Pyramid Infrastructure to pay Rs 50,000 to each buyer

Terming the two towers illegal, the Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (H-Rera) has directed the developer to refund interest-free security, labour cess and other charges collected from buyers.

Homebuyers of Pyramid Urban Homes 2, an affordable housing project in Sector 86, will get a compensation of Rs 50,000 per flat as the developer constructed two additional towers in violation of the approved plan.

Terming the two towers illegal, the Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (H-Rera) has directed the developer to refund interest-free security, labour cess and other charges collected from buyers. It has also fixed the maintenance amount for affordable housing projects at Rs 2.5 per square feet.

The complaint was filed by Fight Against Injustice Forum on the behalf of around 30 individual flat owners in Pyramid Urban Homes. The flats were booked in 2015 and delivered in November 2020.

The petitioner had alleged that the developer, Pyramid Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, violated the condition of affordable housing policy by collecting the amount before commencement of project and took more money in the name of operational and service charges, interest-free security, electric meter and electricity connections, labour cess, and Value Added Tax (VAT). The builder also constructed additional towers without the consent of buyers, shifted gates and made changes in builder-buyer agreements, they said.

The H-Rera adjudicating officer Rajender Kumar, in an order dated September 19 (the certified copy of the order was released in the public domain on Friday), found the developer guilty in most of the allegations levelled by the petitioner and directed compensation for each allegation.

The construction of the two towers was termed illegal as objections raised by existing buyers were overlooked. The developer was asked to pay Rs 50,000 to each complainant as compensation. “Two towers were constructed which were not originally planned. Allottees had agreed to purchase their units, considering the open area for their use but after adding two towers, the common area was shrinked. Adding two more towers deprived them of the use of open space,” said the order.

H-Rera also directed refund of the 10% advance payment taken from buyers. The developer had collected an initial amount of around 20% of the total cost from buyers in 2015, while the project got environmental clearance in 2016. The developer was also directed to change the location of the entry gate as per the original plan.

On maintenance, the developer was directed to refund Rs 1.25 per sq ft, as it was collecting Rs 3.75 per sq ft, with 10% interest from the date of collection till refund. Henceforth, the maintenance fee will be Rs 2.50 per sq ft, the order said. Labour cess and interest-free security collected by the developer will be refunded with 10% interest.

Ashwani Kumar Singla, the counsel for the petitioner, said the judgement is landmark and could be a boon for all the affordable buyers. “It will directly benefit those 30 brave complainants who have shown their untired unity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Shrikant Kumar, the counsel for Pyramid Infrastructure, said allottees had applied under affordable group housing project and after a successful draw, allotment was made in their favour which was duly accepted by them along with the terms and conditions. An allotee, after taking possession of the flat, cannot raise any objection. Besides, they have filed complaints of similar nature on multiple forums, he said. “The allottees are well aware of the terms and condition of the builder-buyer agreement. Just to avoid payment of operation, servicing and other charges, they have raised baseless and frivolous claims regarding allotment of flat, delay in possession, new towers and maintenance,” he argued.

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