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Saving the Magician's Ghetto

Why then is there such resistance to more, lower storied buildings? For one, the private partner is adeptly reading the 2009 agreement and the provisions of the Master Plan 2021 to mean that it is entitled to not 18% (the 0.98 hectares specified in the agreement, of the total of 5.4 hectares), but almost double - 38% of the total ground area. High-rise buildings obviously mean more persons packed into each square inch: leaving more space for the commercially lucrative buildings.

But the most egregious part of the process has been the total lack of engagement with the local population. Involvement aside, even basic knowledge of the project was not given to the anxious residents. The standoff between the residents and the DDA had reached an all-time low around the middle of February, when, after years of unsuccessfully petitioning the DDA for more information on the proposed plan through all available channels, including the 2006 Right to Information Act, there were suddenly newspaper reports of an imminent eviction and demolition. The transit camp, at a place 2 kilometers away was ready and the DDA was ready to shift people there. Policemen in riot gear paced the narrow paths of the colony, and there were rumours of bulldozers that had been menacingly parked on the outskirts. 

Kathputli Colony Delhi Residents say NO to eviction - Raheja Ke Dalalon Ko, Joote Maro Saalon Ko

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) today announced that Kathputli Colony residents will be evicted from 24th February 2014, this is happening against the wishes of the Colony residents. The DDA a few days ago had made assurances to the residents that this would not happen. Today DDA officials have gone on record to say that "force as a deterrent to possible acts of violence will be used." 

Unitech asked to pay Rs 4.77 cr for delay
NEW DELHI: A real estate firm has been directed by the apex consumer commission to pay Rs 4.77 crore to seven buyers for "huge delay" in handing over apartments to them, noting that the builder had attempted to make profit at the cost of others.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench presided by Justice J M Malik noted that the apartments booked nine years ago in Greater Noida were yet to be delivered by Unitech Reliable Projects Pvt Ltd and asked it to pay Rs 4,77,58,658 with 18% interest to the seven consumers.

"There is a magic in that little word 'home'. It is a mystic circle and surrounds comforts and virtues, never known beyond its hollowed limits. However, customers are exasperated by senseless delay made by the Builder of a colony," the commission said.

"It must be borne in mind that there is a huge delay in handing over possession of the premises in dispute, i.e., about 9 years. The opposite party (builder) has made an attempt to feather its own nest, i.e., to make profits for itself, at the cost of others' expenses. The opposite party has utilized the amount for its own purposes," it said.

The commission also directed the firm to pay Rs 1 lakh each to the complainants for harassment and mental agony. According to the complainants, in 2006-07, the real-estate firm had advertized for availability of flats in their project 'Unitech Verve' in Sector Pi-II at Greater Noida that was scheduled to be delivered within 36 months of signing of allotment letter.

The seven complainants said that they had applied for flats, either individually or jointly, and had paid the money demanded by the builder. However, after the project got delayed, they filed a complaint before the commission in October 2012. The firm submitted before the commission that it was unable to hand over possession of apartments to them. It, however, submitted that it was ready to pay 10% interest to the consumers as per the agreement entered into between the parties. PTI


The Grimes & Crimes of Builder Navin Raheja, Chairman NAREDCO & Raheja Developers

Just in time for the Diwali holidays comes the latest article on The Grimes & Crimes of NAREDCO Chairman, Navin Raheja - with new and updated info. 

The article is in progress, and you can see it being finished over the Diwali weekend at http://www.qubrex.com/open-letter-to-housing-minister-about-naredco-chairman-navin-raheja

NAREDCO Chairman Navin Raheja,
urf CMD Raheja Developers,
Jo pechle 8 Saal main hazaron ghar launch karke,
Bana paye aajtak 9 ghar hi poore nahi,
Chale yeh builder PM Modi ko patane aur samjhane,
Ki agle 8 Saal main 9,00,00,000 ghar kaise hain banane. Ha ha.


Please do leave your comments in the comment box at the bottom of the article, and look forward to your suggestions & info to add/remove from the article. 

CRUSHING INDIA’S CULTURAL AMBASSADORS

There are several pending questions that point towards a clear nexus and skewed developmental intent. Firstly, the financial bid was submitted by Raheja Developers on 29/01/2009 and, according to the Agreement between DDA and Raheja, the contract was awarded 7 months later with a starting date of 04/09/2009 and a completion date of 03/09/2011. The Tender money of Rs 6, 11, 11,000 and the Performance Guarantee of Rs 10, 00, 00,000 were deposited by Raheja by 19/09/2009. Why did DDA not take penal action against Raheja for non-completion of the project by the agreed date?

Secondly, the Audit report of the project by the Delhi AG dated March 2011 reports that there were four irregularities. One of them was the allotment of 35 sq.m of excess land to Raheja, which the Auditor valued at Rs 70 lakh, or Rs 2 lakh per sq.m. At that rate the total land of 5.216 ha should have cost Rs 1043.2 crore. On what basis was it awarded to Raheja at a minimal cost of Rs 6.11 crore?

The residents of Kathputli colony are demanding land rights and a fair inquiry to find out why this land was auctioned off to Raheja builders for a mere Rs.6.11 crores when in fact, the estimated cost of this land is over Rs. 1043 crores.

Puppeteers, artists refused to vacate Kathputli Colony

Puppeteers and folk artists residing for decades at a designated colony refused to heed an official order to vacate their homes from Monday.

Dunu Roy, director of Hazards Centre, said there were several irregularities in the PPP signed between the Delhi Development Authority and the private builder which will be raised in the high court. "The land has been developed by the residents of Kathputli Colony and they should have been compensated according to market rates," he said. "The DDA auctioned off the land worth Rs.1,043 crore for just Rs. 6.11 crore. This is a clear sign of corruption in land and real estate," added Roy.

Last week, the residents of the colony met Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and urged him to cancel the impending eviction.

HC pulls up DTCP chief for no-show in Mayfield case

Praveen Jose,TNN | May 22, 2015, 03.27 AM IST

GURGAON: The Punjab and Haryana high court has pulled up the director general of the department of town and country planning (DTCP) for failing to appear before it during the hearing of a case related to inadequate power infrastructure and non-setting of grid sub-stations by developers in various licensed colonies of Gurgaon, particularly in Mayfield Garden.

During the hearing on May 13, a two-judge bench, comprising justices Surya Kant and P B Bajanthri, remarked that the conduct of Arun Kumar Gupta, DG of DTCP, is bordering contempt of court. He has been asked to be present in the court on the next date of hearing on July 16 and explain as to why a penalty of Rs 50,000 would not be imposed on him for failing to appear before the judges.

The high court had asked the DG of DTCP and HUDA's chief administrator to file their respective affidavits in a previous hearing in the case on April 7. Though HUDA chief Brijendra Singh filed his affidavit on May 13, Gupta was neither present in the court nor filed his affidavit.

However, the president of Sheetal RWA (a part of Mayfield Garden), said, "The issue of power supply to residents has deliberately been made to be entangled for a prolonged period of uncertainty by both developers and government agencies leaving the hapless residents of the colony to fend for themselves. The callous attitude of DTCP is highly condemnable and deplorable."
CBI Probe Needed In Kathputli Colony Scam

Meenakshi Lekhi, BJP Candidate: There is a scam in allocation of the huge chunk of land, where Kathputli Colony is located, to private builders. Over 20,000 people have been living in this colony for the last 50 years and they cannot be forced to vacate the same. My party and I have demanded a CBI probe into the matter. There is prima facie involvement of the Union Urban Development Ministry and DDA officials in this scam.

Magicians’ Slum Won’t Disappear

Navin Raheja, chairman of Raheja Developers, which in 2009 won the contract to redevelop Kathputli Colony, believes people will eventually move. “If you could leave a filthy and hellish place behind for a better life, wouldn’t you?” he said.

Well here is the answer ....

While nearly 3,000 families are supposed to leave their homes in the slum, known as Kathputli Colony, and move into temporary accommodations not far away, the buzz along the narrow lanes of the neighborhood is that the temporary housing is uninhabitable. (These temporary houses have been built by Raheja Developers.)

While a transit camp is already set up–at the top of a hill called Anand Parbat, or Joy Mountain, that rises up out of an industrial zone about five kilometers (three miles) from the colony—few citizens of the magicians’ slum want to move there.

Some say the 120-square-foot rooms in the temporary camp set up by the private developer Raheja Developers Ltd. are made of plastic and will burn up as soon as anyone lights a stove. The developer says the pre-fabricated huts are made of fire-resistant cement board.

Others claim the drains under the toilets are wide enough to swallow an elephant.

“It’s a death trap,” said Om Prakash Gupta, who runs a provisions store in Kathputli Colony, “And the rooms are too small.”

No Possession For Home Buyers in Raheja Atharva
December 20: In a special campaign, Harsh Realty Bloomberg TV India takes up issues home buyers are facing due to the high handed behavior of their builders. Raheja Constructions has put nearly 400-450 families in a fix, after it delayed the possession of its much touted Atharva Project in Gurgaon. Bloomberg TV India’s Sapna Dhanwani shares a detailed report.
Hope land deal probe won't be for political vendetta: Vadra

TNN | May 16, 2015, 07.31 AM IST

BJP Govt in Haryana is not going after hundreds of bigger builder-landscams - just after DLF Vadra. If this is not vendetta, what is it?

NEW DELHI: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra on Friday said he hoped that Haryana government's investigation into his land deals "will not be used for political vendetta".

Vadra insisted that he nor anyone associated with him had anything to hide. "An enquiry has been ordered by the government of Haryana. Let us await its outcome. Neither me nor anyone associated with me has anything to hide. Compliance of all laws were followed in a completely transparent manner. I sincerely hope that an enquiry will not be used for political vendetta," Vadra wrote in a post on Facebook.

Vadra went public after the Haryana government constituted a judicial commission to probe his controversial land deals during the previous Congress regime in the state, including one that allegedly delivered windfall gains to the 46-year-old businessman married to Priyanka Gandhi.

The BJP had turned the land deals under the Congress regime into a major poll issue during last year's election, alleging that land rules were relaxed to favour a few including Vadra. The saffron party had promised to investigate such deals.

READ ALSO: Parliament attack case judge to probe Vadra land deals

Vadra also figured in parliamentary debates as BJP members in Lok Sabha chanted his name while Rahul Gandhi was speaking on the controversial land acquisition bill.

Congress claimed that Haryana's inquiry was the BJP's answer to Rahul's offensive against the Modi government on the land bill and other issues.

The state government appointed retired judge of Delhi High Court, Justice S N Dhingra, to probe issues concerning the grant of licence(s) for developing commercial colonies by the department of town and country planning, Haryana, to some entities in Sector 83, Gurgaon.

Earlier, the CAG had alleged that Vadra's firm was one of the nine companies in the area which had not submitted documents on financial adequacy.

Developers flaunting names of foreign architects to sell housing projects could be violating legal norms

Jeevan Prakash Sharma, Delhi - Updated: May 12, 2015 19:38 IST

The love of Indians for all things foreign is well known – and most real estate developers know it and take advantage of this fact. That is why many of them have been advertising their residential projects as being designed by architects of international repute, giving buyers the impression, thereby, that foreign collaborations mean apartments of international standards and better value.

However, by doing so, real estate developers could be violating a legal provision, ie, Section 37 of The Architects Act, 1972, which prohibits a foreign architect from working in India without the permission of the Central government.

That's not all, in some cases, architects from abroad are emailing their designs to builders which are endorsed and signed off by their Indian counterparts who are then represented as actual designers of the project to get approvals from development authorities. In other cases, while Indian architects finalise project designs for a builder, foreign architects allow use of their brand (for a hefty payment) for advertising the project as one of international standards.

Witnessing many cases, the Council of Architecture (CoA), the regulatory body for architects in India, recently published a pubic notice in leading newspapers, which said "The CoA is receiving complaints regarding the violation of the (architects) Act by foreign architects/consulting firms/Indian architects/real estate developers and others by hiring foreign architects to render architectural services without following due procedure prescribed under proviso (b) section 37 (1) of the Architects Act, 1972." It adds: "It is also noticed that Indian Architects (as defined under the Act) have been working as local /signing/ liaison architects for projects which have been or are being designed by foreign architects without ensuring compliance of the provisions of the Act."

HT Estates connected with many developers advertising projects designed by foreign architects. In the case of Supertech's ambitious project, Supernova, in Sector 94 Noida, it has been claimed in many advertisements that the project's architectural drawings have been done by renowned British architect Benoy, which also acknowledges the fact on its website. However, RK Arora, CMD Supertech, did not offer any comments when asked if the agreement had been done in violation of the Architects Act.

Tata Housing, campaigning for its residential project Myst, claims it has been "designed by renowned architect Llewelyn Yeang." When asked if the company had sought the Central government's permission to get the professional services a foreign architect, a spokesperson said: "Llewelyn Yeang has only provided guidelines for the master plan; whereas we work with CPK, a reputed Indian architectural firm and all architectural services as defined in the 1972 Architects Act by Council of Architecture India were undertaken by them."

Delhi-based veteran architect Ashok Goel says he finds it "strange that Tata Housing is not using the name of CPK in its advertisements because it's an Indian firm. On the other hand, a Western company which has just done the master planning, as claimed by the company, has been given a lot of importance."

Some developers denied hiring international firms to design projects. When asked about their association with Dubai-based firm Arabtec, a spokesperson for Delhi-based Raheja Developers clarified that Arabtec was only handling Raheja's residential project Revanta's construction work and that the architectural design had been done by in-house Indian architects.

In case of Jaypee Associates, which launched two townships in Greater Noida (Jaypee Greens) and Noida (Wishtown) in 2000 and November 2007, respectively, the company claimed that the architectural designs had been done by Arcop, an Indian architectural firm. However, the regulator, CoA, has filed a criminal complaint against the company for violating the Architects Act 1972. "We are very much an Indian company and we strongly object to any such allegations which doubt our Indian status. In fact, we have filed a case against the regulator for maligning our reputation," says Sanjay Sharma, director, Arcop Associates.

Godrej Properties, which has claimed that one of its projects in Mumbai has been designed by DP Architects from Singapore, defends its decision, with a company spokesperson saying, "There is no legal restriction on foreign architects providing consultancy and the company is totally in compliance with all laws. The company works extensively with both Indian and international designers."

Experts say that it is the duty of the development authorities to ask the developers why they have submitted designs signed by Indian architects and are claiming in advertisements that foreign architects have designed their projects.

Puppet on a string

In the transit camps, the voices of dissent are loud and clear. “We are a family of seven, when we put our beds down in this cramped hut there was no room for our dhols and puppets. We had to keep them outside and keep watch so that they do not get stolen. What will we do when it rains?” says a distressed Kamat Bhai, a resident of the transit camp.

In response, Dimple Bhardwaj, spokesperson for the Raheja Developers, clarified, “We have tried to make the transit camp as comfortable as possible. Baseless fears go against the cause of making Delhi slum-free.”

A few days ago, when I visited the Anand Parbat camp, walking distance from the Kathputli colony, I found 60 families had moved so far. The presence of CCTV cameras across the colony did make it seem spooky. But the quarters, though clean, are tiny and there is no room for musical instruments or the puppets.

“The relocation policy states that the transit camp will have spaces for recreation and livelihood. But the houses are made of toxic waste material, windows are falling apart, drains are getting choked, electricity plug points and switches are not working. If it is like this now, imagine how it will be after two years?” alleges Dunu Roy, director of Hazards Centre.

Delhi High Court: Topline Buildtech vs M/s Raheja Developers Ltd

It has been agreed between the parties without prejudice to the rights and contentions of either of them, that joint measurement of the work carried out by the petitioner be recorded in the presence of a Local Commissioner appointed by this Court and a videograph be also made of the said process. Learned counsel for the respondent submits that after the site was taken over from the petitioner, another contractor was engaged by the respondent and work is in progress through the other contractor since 18.09.2013.

On the other hand, the submission of learned senior counsel for the respondent is that the said work is being done in respect of other towers being built in the area, and not in respect of the towers built by the petitioner. This is disputed by the respondent.

Accordingly, I appoint Mr. K.L. Katyal, Supt. Engineer, NDMC (Mobile No.9810400855) as a Local Commissioner, in whose presence the joint measurements shall be recorded.

Haryana's mighty usurp HUDA land meant for defence personnel and SC category : North, News - India Today

More skeletons are tumbling out of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). It has come to light that the high and the mighty in the state have been usurping land meant for the armed forces personnel and people belonging to scheduled castes and reserved categories.

According to a list submitted by HUDA to the Punjab and Haryana High Court, those who took the plots meant for defence personnel allegedly include Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma, state's election commissioner Rajeev Sharma, Justice Shiv Charan Bajaj, Justice K.L. Valson, bureaucrats Meenakshi Anand and N.K. Jain, IPS official V.N. Negi, former minister Subhash Batra and former MLA Mohamad Ilyas, among others.

The plot scam was revealed when serving Army Colonel Dharam Singh Yadav, himself an accused, provided a list of 171 persons who were allegedly allotted more than one plot under the discretionary quota of HUDA. But according to state's urban development authority records, nearly 8,000 people had got multiple plots under various categories in contravention to the norms.

As per Haryana government's policy, HUDA reserves eight per cent of the plots for Army personnel and two per cent for paramilitary personnel besides other reserved category people.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on October 22, 2013 had ordered a probe into the alleged mess in the allotment of HUDA plots meant for defence and paramilitary personnel. The court had also stayed transfer and sale of these plots till the probe was over. The court has asked HUDA administrator to file a status report every month. The High Court asked HUDA to submit a list of allottees who were given more than one plot.

The Haryana Urban Development Authority.

The probe was ordered on the basis of a complaint filed by a Gurgaon-based property dealer Surender Kumar Sharma. He had alleged that defence officers by forging documents and submitting bogus affidavits have got more than one plot. Sharma, who appeared before the court recently, said he had submitted the list of 34 bogus beneficiaries to Haryana chief minister.

HUDA tracked 379 people who owned more than one plot. Haryana Police has booked 379 defence officers, paramilitary officers and others who allegedly owned more than one plot under the housing scheme launched by HUDA. "The police had registered 379 FIRs across the state against Army officers and others who by submitting bogus affidavits got more than one plot. They were entitled to just one plot," a Haryana government officer said.

Army colonel Dharam Singh Yadav, who is currently posted at Gaya NCC, 6 Bihar Battalion, recently approached the court for an anticipatory bail for an FIR registered against him in Gurgaon. Yadav allegedly owns eight HUDA plots in Gurgaon, Sonepat, Hisar and Rewari. His brother Karan Singh Yadav, who also serves the defence force, owns more than 10 HUDA plots.

Congress politicos face graftallegations


Bhupinder Singh Hooda government may have gone, but a former minister and a former MLA of the previous dispensation are in the news for wrong reasons. On Saturday, a Chandigarh-based businessman alleged that former minister Rao Dan Singh and MLA Dharam Singh Chhokar accepted crores of rupees for allotting prime lands in sectors 110 and 113 of Gurgaon.

The complainant, Umedh Singh, claimed that he had contacted these two leaders about a year back, seeking their help in allotment of HUDA lands to develop multi-storey housing societies. The two Congress leaders allegedly promised him to provide several necessary clearances and 'change of land use' certificate to develop the housing societies.

Gurgaon Police on Saturday registered three FIRs in two police stations against five persons, including Rao Dan Singh and Chhokar. "We have registered three separate FIRs against Rao Dan Singh, his son, Sanjay and two others under sections 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code and the anticorruption law. Two FIRs have been registered in Palam Vihar and one in Badshahpur police station," said ACP (crime) Rajesh Kumar.


- Ajay Kumar/Gurgaon

Meenakshi Lekhi of BJP Says Ajay Maken Promised homes to people in Kathputli Colony but they are nowhere in sight

His (Ajay Maken) name had cropped up in the Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojna scam and the Kathputli Colony scam. He has done nothing in the last 10 years and has been completely absent from the constituency. Several RTIs have shown that most of the money from the MPLAD Fund for the New Delhi parliamentary seat has been left unutilised. 

He promised homes to people in the Kathputli Colony but they are nowhere in sight. Land worth several hundred crores was handed over to the developer (Raheja Developers) for a petty sum.

Kathputli Colony residents meet L-G

Residents of the Kathputli Colony, a jhuggi jhopri cluster in West Delhi’s Shadipur area, may have to shift to transit camps in Anand Parbat as early as Monday keeping with the Delhi Development Authority’s in-situ redevelopment plans. To oppose such a move, representatives from the colony along with area MLA R.P. Singh met Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung on Friday.

According to the plans that were drawn up way back in 2007, the vibrant community of puppeteers and performers that are residents of the colony, will be shifted to transit camps temporarily, until private developer Raheja builds multi-storey flats at the current location to accommodate the 3,200 or more families residing there.

Delhi puppeteers’ colony fights eviction, development plan

When the IANS reporters visited the site, they saw the residents united against shifting out. They accuse the Delhi government of getting their thumb impressions on “fake receipts” and luring them to move to the transit camp. The residents are demanding they be given small plots of land instead of flats. They maintain they will lose their clientele once they shift to flats. The DDA maintains they would be providing an amphitheatre and a place to display their puppets and other ware in the newly constructed camp.

The government claims that nearly 50 percent of the residents are willing to move and everything is being done in a transparent manner, but the residents refute the claim.

“The receipt (government document) says that we have been forcibly living on government land. This is untrue. They are not even giving us an assurance that they will bring us back to our original place of living after two years,” said Rani, a 50-year-old resident.

The government has a different version.

“More than 50 percent of the people here have agreed to move, but they continue to live here as they fear the consequences. There are a few anti-social elements who have spread fear among these people,” a DDA official told IANS.

“Some of them who signed the agreement are now sitting among the group to resist us,” the official said, pointing to the protesters.

Delhi High Court: H.S. OBEROI BUILDTECH PVT LTD Vs M/s Raheja Developer Pvt Ltd

The submission of learned counsel for the petitioner is that the petitioner had furnished the bank guarantee in question to secure the mobilisation advance received from the respondents. The mobilisation advance was adjusted in the running bills issued by the petitioner from time to time. The submission of Mr. Bhaduri is that the respondent itself had issued a statement (placed at page 229 of the record) as per which mobilisation advance, advanced to the petitioner was Rs.3,57,43,874/-, out of which, up till the issuance of the 32nd running account bill on 15.02.2013, an amount of Rs.3,41,77,208/- had been recovered. He submits that the respondent cannot, therefore, invoke the performance bank guarantee for  the amount of Rs.78,33,033/-.

The woman behind Friends of Kathputli Colony Delhi

The enchanting ‘Kathputli Colony’, located about two minutes away from the Shadipur metro station in Delhi (India), has fortunately become international media’s sweetheart recently. Global media publications including TIME, BBC and Guardian have extensively written and expressed concerns over the ongoing feud of the colony with the DDA developers (Delhi Development Authority) who have offered to dislocate the families of puppeteers, artists, sculptors, magicians, snake charmers, musicians and dancers living in Kathputli for generations and “relocate” them first to a transit camp and then to buildings with urban 1 BHK flats. “Inko flat de rahe hai, acha kaam kar hai (we are giving them flats so we are doing good work), says the DDA. But from whose perspective is it good? Definitely not from these people’s perspectives,” says Poornima Sardana, a woman who has been slowly, silently and obstinately working towards giving a voice and a sharp face to Kathputli Colony through her initiative ‘Friends of Kathputli Colony Delhi’.

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