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The callous attitude of the development authorities has soured the middle- class dream of affordable homes in Greater Noida, but it's not a no- hope situation

Affordable homes starting at Rs 15 lakh near proposed Metro station. Construction in full swing. SMS ALERTS such as this one were promising enough for middle- class home buyers dreaming of owning a nest close to Delhi. But the dream has turned into a nightmare for thousands who are still uncertain about the fate of their project.

Project delays, lack of clarity from development authorities and fresh litigation have tarnished the image of Greater Noida as the affordable housing hub for middle- class buyers. For realtors, too, these developments represent a huge setback, but they are confident it's a temporary phase.

Agreeing that there's been a setback, Sanjay Rastogi, Director, Saviour Builders, says " the people are becoming cautious about investing here." Everyone hopes that the authorities, to quote Rastogi, " will keep the interests of stakeholders in mind" and decide on the matter fast enough for the market to be able to " pick up pace". After the protest by farmers and court orders quashing land acquisition, the sales in the area have dropped dramatically, almost less than a tenth of total bookings made last year.

A report by PropEquity, a realty intelligence firm, says that in the first quarter of this year, Greater Noida saw around 1,050 units being sold, against 12,163 a year ago. And the reason is the callous attitude of the development authorities in the state and the Centre.

The Allahabad High Court had ruled on October 21 last year that the construction of housing projects in Greater Noida can only resume after the National Capital Region Planning Board gives its nod. But eight months have passed and the board has been sitting over a decision; the projects as a result stand stalled.

" We cannot give the go- ahead till the Greater Noida Master Plan 2021 is approved," a senior official from the NCRPB said. " We have extension of the Metro will become a reality." Sharma experience is that of most Greater Noida home buyers who have been left in the lurch.

" I am paying rent as well as EMI," he says. " With no construction work on for nearly a year and no solution in sight, I don't expect my project to be delivered on time. I am already carrying a double financial burden. It was a wrong decision on my part." Developers haven't lost hope.

" The area was developed as an affordable housing hub and it willremain so in the future as well," says Ashwini Prakash, Executive Director, Paramount Group.

" It's just a procedural delay.

Once it is resolved and construction resumes, buyers will find that their investment decision was right." sent it for approval to the Uttar Pradesh government." The scrapping of the Jewar international airport plan also has had a negative impact on home buyers. Says Manoj Gaur, Managing Director, Gaursons India: " The cancellation of the proposed airport has definitely had an impact on the market to the extent of the negative sentiment. Many fivestar hotels were in the pipeline, but now it is unlikely that they will come up. The airport could have spurred not only the real estate, but also brought top MNCs to Noida and Greater Noida." The buyers have been the biggest losers in the process.

" There is so much uncertainty about the projects," says Alok Sharma, an executive working with an IT firm. " We keep on hearing one thing or the other. The airport line too has been scrapped, so we really do not know if the proposed


Number of housing units sold in Greater Noida in the first quarter, compared with 12,163 a year ago

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jun 23, 2012
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