Hope for Unitech home buyers

Takeover revives chance of recovering money

By Sambit Saha in Calcutta
  • Published 9.12.17

Calcutta: The takeover of Delhi-based real estate company Unitech Ltd by the Union government could benefit hundreds of home buyers who have been kept waiting for up to six years for possession of their apartments at Uniworld City in Rajarhat.

Unitech, which is developing a mini township across 100 acres in the heart of Action Area III, has apparently collected the major portion of an apartment's cost from many buyers but not kept its side of the bargain.

The National Company Law Tribunal on Friday noted that around 19,000 people who had booked apartments in Unitech projects across the country were yet to get possession of those units. The tribunal issued an order allowing the Union government to supersede the company's management.

A new 10-member board, to be set up by the Union ministry of corporate affairs, will oversee and supervise the functioning of the parent company and its 200-odd subsidiaries and associated companies, including several that were formed for projects in Bengal.

Legal experts say that the redress of buyer grievances would be a priority for the new board since the tribunal's order mentions their plight.

"Unitech had promised delivery of my 3-BHK flat, priced at Rs 75 lakh, in 2011. There are many like me whose money has been locked up for years," said a Dubai-based professional who had booked a flat in Harmony, one of the apartment blocks in Uniworld City.

There are many "satisfied" home buyers too, most of them already living there. "This is a thriving mini township. There is even a mall here. We are satisfied," said Achintya Mukherjee, a resident of Uniworld.

But Mukherjee has been unable to mutate his apartment in the civic records because the project has not received the mandatory completion certificate. Unitech had stepped into Bengal in 2006 in collaboration with NRI businessman Prasoon Mukherjee's Universal Success group, which also brought in Indonesia's Salim Group for a slew of infrastructure projects. Unitech exited post-Nandigram to go it alone in real estate.