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The collapse of the Twin Towers is a lesson for all stakeholders, say industry experts

The demolition of Supertech’s twin towers in Noida is a lesson to all stakeholders in the real estate industry that accountability will be fixed if they violate building laws, according to industry leaders. State regulatory authorities should be empowered under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 to take action against defaulters and protect the interests of consumers, they added. Supertech’s twin towers Apex and Sian – part of its Emerald Court project in Noida – were safely demolished on Sunday, a year after the Supreme Court ordered their demolition. More than 3,700 kg of explosives were used in the massive exercise.

“This decision is symbolic of the new India we live in, which is all about best practices, governance and following the law. We stand by the authorities and the Supreme Court in this decision,” Credai (national) president Harsh Vardhan Patodia told PTI. Most of the organized developers are following all the guidelines set by the authorities and this will serve as a good reminder for those who are not, Patodia added.

Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) represents more than 13,000 developers across 221 city chapters in 21 states. Another realtor body, NAREDCO, did not comment on the demolition.

When contacted, leading property consultant Anuj Puri said: “This is a lesson for all stakeholders concerned. The Supreme Court has ensured that in case of any violation, accountability will be fixed and going forward stakeholders will have to avoid any violation and be brought under the law,” said Shishir Baijal, Chairman and Managing Director, Knight Frank India, adding that this is a step towards making real estate a transparent and responsible business segment. A strong statement for. “We think that developers and buyers will take careful note and ensure that their projects are clear and have all necessary clearances,” he said.

The top lesson from the collapse of the Twin Towers is that there is a continuing need for transparency in the sector. “Steps like digitizing land records available in the public domain can help provide more transparency. Further, RERA which has been implemented with different powers in different states, should be given more powers to take disciplinary action against defaulters to protect the interests of end-users,” added Baijal.

Colliers India CEO Ramesh Nair said state RERA authorities have a huge role to play in enforcing the guidelines to enhance transparency, protect the rights of home buyers and prevent injustice. Vishal Raheja, founder and MD of property consulting firm InvestoXpert, says post demolition, developers will be more conscious in taking decisions regarding FAR (floor area ratio) changes.

“This is an important lesson for all developers to take informed decisions and prevent themselves from illegal construction in future,” he added. After the implementation of RERA in India, Raheja said, processes became crystal clear and customers were able to access all the technical information of the projects on the RERA website.

The Delhi-NCR property market, one of India’s largest, has been severely affected by default by developers to complete real estate projects over the past decade. Jaypee Infratech, Unitech, Amrapali and The 3C Company are some of the major companies whose projects are stuck in Delhi-NCR. There are many other builders who have failed in their promises to deliver their projects on time to customers, who have already paid almost the entire purchase price and are also paying interest on the home loan. Homebuyers have approached various courts as well as the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against the defaulting builders. Jaypee Infratech Ltd (JIL) went into Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) in August 2017.

The Mumbai-based Suraksha Group had secured approval from financial lenders and home buyers to take over JIL in June last year, raising hopes of over 20,000 home buyers getting possession of their flats. The protection group is yet to get approval of its resolution plan from the NCLT.

In the case of Unitech, the Supreme Court in January 2020 allowed the Center to take full management control of the company and appoint a new board of nominee directors. Yudvir Singh Malik was appointed as the new CMD after the central government removed the Unitech board. The decision was aimed at providing relief to more than 12,000 troubled home buyers of Unitech, but customers are still waiting for possession of their apartments.

In the case of Amrapali, the state-owned NBCC Amrapali under the supervision of the Stalled Projects and Investment Reconstruction Establishment (ASPIRE) and the Supreme Court has completed many residential projects in Noida and Greater Noida. Around 40,000 home buyers are stuck in various projects of the Amrapali group.

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