Devastated home buyers see light at the end of tunnel as Amrapali projects get handed over to NBCC

Amrapali Group, stalled housing projects, Supreme Court

The ruling brings relief to thousands of home buyers who had invested their money in such projects.

About to retire from a leading PSU company about six years back, Devika (name changed) wanted to have her own house to spend the retired life. To fulfill her dream, she booked a flat in an upcoming housing project of Amrapali Group in Greater Noida, but, with the realtor becoming bankrupt, she is now forced to stay in a vacant flat of one of her relatives in Ghaziabad.

However, as the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday canceled the registration of the Amrapali Group under the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and appointed the state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) to complete all its pending projects, she now hopes that her ordeal would finally end.

Bringing relief to thousands of such home buyers who had invested their money in the projects of the Amrapali Group, the apex court also canceled the leases of Amrapali’s properties granted by the Noida and Greater Noida authorities and directed the Enforcement Directorate to investigate alleged money laundering by CMD Anil Sharma and other directors and senior officials of the group.

Accusing the Noida and Greater Noida authorities of colluding with the realty group in allowing diversion of the home buyers’ money and not acting in accordance with the law, the SC bench, in its ruling, said the home buyers’ money was diverted in violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and foreign direct investment (FDI) norms.

In a relief to over 42,000 hassled home buyers, the court said Noida and Greater Noida authorities have no right to sell the properties of the Amrapali Group to recover their dues and directed the authorities to give completion certificates to flat buyers already residing in the various projects of the group.

The ruling has raised the hope of investors in other housing groups that the stalled projects in NCR would now get back on track.

Financially devastated with the burdens of monthly rent of Rs 20,000, home loan EMI of around Rs 40,000 per month and with no tax relief on home loan interest and principal repayment, Priyam Sharma (name changed), a sole breadwinner of a family of four, is such an unfortunate investor, who hopes that their ordeal would also end soon.

Not only Sharma, according to ANAROCK data, investors in about 2,00,000 housing units in NCR are facing financial crunch with around Rs 1,26,000 crore of their hard-earned money stuck up in the projects that were launched in 2013 or before.

Source: ANAROCK Research

While Greater Noida is worst effected in NCR with about 1,00,000 delayed projects with the valuation of around Rs 43,600 crore, according to ANAROCK data, the picture in other top cities across India are also not very rosy, as about 5,75,900 housing units, costing around Rs 4,64,300 crore, have got delayed.

Source: ANAROCK Research

With the hope that the SC ruling would get the wheels of stalled Amrapali projects rolling, home buyers now expect that their home dream will become a reality soon and apart from the EMIs, they would be relieved from the additional burden of paying monthly rent by shifting to their own house.