The Telegraph
Saturday , December 1 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Your flat, but not officially

The Khel Gaon housing complex in Hotwar had every reason to be Ranchi’s urban haven. Instead, it is now an address in limbo with mounting hidden costs.

Possession blues are looming large over the Rs 250-crore property under PPP mode built over 56 acres as part of 34th National Games.

The state government has still not transferred power of attorney to its partner NCC Urban Infrastructure Limited that built the Games village, as a result of which 800-odd buyers who spent anywhere between Rs 22 lakh and Rs 50 lakh, cannot register properties even after over a year.

According to agreement norms between the state and the agency, unless the government handed over the latter the sale deed and power of attorney, purchased flats couldn’t be registered.

Registration costs are decided on actual realty rates. So, as property prices keep soaring, so do registration rates — seven per cent of property cost in Ranchi, with hidden costs like lawyer’s fees as extras.

Effectively, then, the more months or years the state dithers, the more cash the homeowners have to shell out.

On why the state hasn’t handed over the power of attorney yet, there are two answers.

The charitable one is that the state government is worried. A highly placed source in the sports department said the government was protecting its back in case something went wrong later. “The state is slightly apprehensive about handing over power of attorney now as it fears that if the firm sells all units and goes, the government will be saddled with liabilities,” he said.

The uncharitable explanation is that the state is, as usual, in procrastination mode. Abhishek Kumar, a senior functionary of NCC Urban Infrastructure Limited, with offices in Khel Gaon, said the file was moving across departments for long but to no avail.

“After the Games, when we asked the government for power of attorney to enable buyers get registration documents, the mandarins said they would set up a panel to assess our work before taking a decision. That is yet to happen. Recently, we were told that a committee has been formed. Fingers crossed,” said he.

Of the 1,200 flats, penthouses and villas in 32 residential towers, the government retained 220 flats after Games. Of the 980 left, individual buyers own most, but Nabard and I-T department bought towers.

Around 100 were vacant, for which the builder offered a Diwali Dhamaka — 3D TV freebie. Prodded, an NCC Urban Infrastructure Limited official said the offer, now closed, was “somewhat successful”.

It means that as ground realities are emerging, the excitement of owning a Khel Gaon address is on the wane.

Existing owners, who still vouch for the facilities in the complex, are worried.

A government official, who declined to be named, said: “This colony is the best in the whole state. But we are worried over registration hassles as costs will go up, not to speak of the unease that lingers till a property is registered.”

Resident Manish Jain, who booked his flat in 2007, was furious. “I was to get my flat’s possession after 34th National Games in January 2008. Forget delays. Registration is the biggest bugbear. The lease deed has not been executed yet and I am told that government approval is yet to come. I am mulling legal action against the firm,” Jain said.

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