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Realtors in Delhi may sell dreams on land they don't have

09 Sep 2018

Now that the policy is official, real estate experts worry that more builders may try their luck at shortchanging potential buyers and offering them homes on land that the new land policy will free in urban villages

NEW DELHI: Even as Delhi Development Authority was putting its seal of approval on the long-delayed land-pooling policy at its meeting on Friday, many people had already been lured into buying from builders who actually did not have plans in hand.

Now that the policy is official, real estate experts worry that more builders may try their luck at shortchanging potential buyers and offering them homes on land that the new land policy will free in urban villages, mostly on the periphery of the city.

Under the land-pooling policy, small landholdings in villages will be surrendered to DDA, which will create infrastructure like roads and return a substantial portion of the land to the owners. Last year, Delhi government declared 89 villages as urban villages eligible for land pooling. The areas covering these villages in west, north-west, south, south-west and north Delhi have been divided into the L, N, P-II, K-I and J zones, and sub-cities like Dwarka will emerge on the pooled real estate.

Against regulations requiring certain norms on building projects, many developers are soliciting buyers on the presumption of land being available after pooling. “You can book flats. I will ask my office to call you and get the process started,” a builder confided in TOI on Friday, when reporters posed as potential flat purchasers.

Though projects cannot be launched without obtaining approvals, having the building plans sanctioned and the registration formalities completed, many gullible buyers have committed their money to housing that exist only on paper. In some cases, the so-called developers have fraudulently collected Rs 10-20 lakh as advance payment from interested parties.

“Many builders have even shut shop and vanished after collecting huge amounts,” cautioned Mukesh Sinha, a real-estate consultant. He advised buyers to verify the documents and credibility of the developers before investing in a property.

DDA is aware of this and has initiated a communication programme to clarify that the policy is yet to become operationalised.

“We know that many unscrupulous promoters have opened kiosks in Dwarka and the localities neighbouring Gurgaon, where they distribute pamphlets and brochures promoting housing schemes,” said a DDA official. “Many DDA officials have received text messages about such schemes on their phones.”

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