Long wait continues for Chennai apartment buyers: Builders delay construction by a month again
For over 140 customers of Evocon Eden Gardens in Tambaram, owning an apartment home in Chennai is turning into a long-running nightmare of delays.
Just when they thought that construction on the project would resume after a halt of more than a year-and-a-half, the builders have again postponed it by nearly a month. Not surprisingly, they find it hard to believe the latest promise from the builders that construction will resume from August.
Evocon Eden Gardens is a project started in Tambaram by Evocon Private Limited in partnership with VIP Housing. With the complex consisting of 148 premium 2-BHK and 3-BHK apartments (ranging from 787 sq ft to 1395 sq ft), 120 apartments have been sold. An additional 20 apartments are meant to be handed over to landowners who sold the land for the project.
According to one of the customers (who did not wish to be named), the owner of the company, Dhanapal, had met them all last month and promised to restart work on the project by July 15.
“Dhanapal had said that the work will commence by July 15, and that they will hand over the apartments by April 14, 2018. But till now, no work has begun at the construction site in Tambaram. He had told us that he will get the necessary funds required to restart the work. But now, we have come to know that it has again been delayed till August 3,” he said.
The customer added that there is a lot of confusion with regard to the project, and they had heard that even the contractor for the project had changed. “We came to know that SRM Contractors Pvt Ltd is no longer the contractor. We will be having another meeting tomorrow with Evocon. We won’t trust them until they start the work, and only then will we pay the remaining amount,” he said.
TNM had reported in May that construction at Evocon Eden Gardens had stopped in October 2015. Prabhakar Datta, who had invested in a 3-bedroom apartment in the project in December 2013, had then said, “I have paid about Rs 51.95 lakh, including the registration amount. Many of the people have paid 85% of the total money to the builder but there has not been any construction since October 2015.”
According to the agreement signed by buyers, the builders have to hand over the completed apartments within 24 monthsfrom the date the agreement is signed, with an additional grace period of 90 days. For Prabhakar, that period ended in 2016.
In 2015, the company had said that construction had stalled due to the flood situation in the city. “In October 2015, Chennai was flooded when I came here. I went to their officer to meet them. They kept saying that there is flooding and work cannot be done. They promised to give the flat by April 2017,” said Prabhakar.
The company then said that changes in the political climate of Tamil Nadu and demonetisation had further increased the delay, as there had been difficulty in gathering the necessary funds for the construction.
Facing another delay, the buyers are now planning to approach the court for redressal. “We are first trying to register our association, for that also we are not getting proper documents from the company. We will file a formal complaint under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA), if the work does not start soon,” the buyer said.
Evocon Private Limited told TNM that construction work will not be delayed beyond August 3. “We had a meeting and the money is almost arranged. So, we will start the work by August 3 and the contractor is still SRM. That has not changed,” said Sunil, General Manager of Evocon.
Edited by Rakesh Mehar