Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Investors in DLF project want out

Seventy-eight investors have approached an arbiter for permission to exit a commercial complex being built by DLF in Rajarhat.

The eagerness to pull out is in sharp contrast with the haste with which some of them had put in money without reading the fine print and reflects the dramatic fall in the fortunes of real estate projects over the past one and a half years.

The 78 investors have sought their money back from India’s largest real estate developer, which is building the retail-cum-office complex named DLF Galleria.

The investors have filed the demand with the sub-divisional officer of North 24-Parganas, the designated person under the Promoters Act to deal with such real estate disputes. A hearing is expected on Tuesday.

The investors alleged that the project was running behind schedule but added that the prospectus did not mention a specific time frame.

“The project has made little progress. DLF must pay us back with interest,” said Rajendra Kapoor, who has formed an association of investors.

Kapoor said 22 more individual complaints would be filed on Monday and a hearing could take place on Tuesday.

A DLF spokesperson denied the allegation made by the investors. “We have all the approvals in place, construction at the site is in full swing and we are committed to deliver the project on schedule as promised,” the spokesperson added.

Anirudh Jharjharia, another investor, claimed that around Rs 100 crore had been forked out by 223 people for the project. The association represents an investment of Rs 30 crore, he said.

Asked why the prospectus was not checked with diligence, Jharjharia said: “There was so much hype in the real estate market during the soft launch in February 2008. And the developer was the reputable DLF. So everyone rushed in,” he said.

Realty sources said the price crash in the intervening months had buried the hopes of the investors to make a profit.

Kapoor said that if DLF returned the money, the amount would help him buy 80 per cent of a similar property in Rajarhat.


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