As the building came down in Chennai, so did the dreams of people who had invested their money in the two buildings.

The Moulivakkam building is gone but the homebuyers are still paying a huge price for it
news Demolition Thursday, November 03, 2016 - 10:45

It was well past dusk, and it was dark. Hundreds of cameras were pointing to the partially constructed building in anticipation. The countdown began around 6:50pm and finally, after several hours of waiting, the explosives were set off and the building came crashing down to loud cheers from spectators. It was over in a matter of few seconds. The 11-storey building in Moulivakkam, ‘Belief’, constructed by Madurai-based builder Prime Sristi was now a few tons of rubble and a huge cloud of grey dust.

But as the building came down on Wednesday evening, so did the dreams of about 55 people who had invested their money in the two buildings, ‘Faith’ and ‘Belief’ by Prime Sristi. On June 28, 2014, the 12-storey ‘Faith’ building came crashing down in an accident, killing 61 workers. The Tamil Nadu government had filed a report stating structural design failures and poor execution of work.

The Kanchipuram district administration had then filed an order demanding demolition of the second building. The Madras High court had refused demolition, however, the district administration passed another order to demolish the building in October 2015. 

Meanwhile, the state government petitioned the Supreme Court seeking demolition of the second building and the court formed a team to check the site. In May 2016, the Supreme Court passed the order to demolish the second building. 

Even though the buildings have been demolished, the customers who bought the apartments are still struggling to pay off their home loans. “I had invested Rs. 50 lakhs for a three-bedroom apartment. I was supposed to pay a total amount of Rs. 90 lakhs,” says Anirudh, one of the homebuyers.

“We have nothing to do with the building now. We do not care if it is standing or demolished. We want the money that we have invested in the project,” he adds.

The banks have now begun initiating cases against the buyers for recovery of money. “On one end, we have paid money and do not have a home and our savings are gone. On the other end, we have to fight the cases that the banks have filed against us on various forums,” rues Anirudh.

The buyers had started investing in these buildings in 2013 and were promised to be given the houses by 2014. “We have filed a complaint with the National Consumer Forum, it has been two-and-a-half-years and there have been no hearings in the case,” says Rathna Mishra, who invested in the Faith building and is also the president of the association for the affected buyers.

Much of the blame lies with the government, she says. “The building had all the approvals from CMDA and township planning. We have also sent a letter to all the authorities including the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister but we are not getting any relief or support,” said Rathna Mishra.

Watch the video of demolition here:

 

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