Maha builder’s arbitrariness: ‘Magic Hills’ lost somewhere

New Delhi, Jan 2 (Agency) A team of owners of ‘Magic Hills’ bungalows, built on the hills of Ambavali village of Khalapur in Raigad district of Maharashtra, which remains incomplete and in ruins 15 years after its launch, asked the state’s Eknath Shinde government to rein in the arbitrariness of Kedia builders, and urged to give immediate relief to the buyers of this colony.

An officer and a team member, who has held several senior positions in an important international organization for the last 15 years, told UNI on Monday in a complaint about ‘Magic Hills’ built under the Garnet Constructions project of Kedia Builders, that by showing breathtaking dreams, all the buyers have been fooled. The official alleged that it is shocking that even after the crack-down on the high-handedness of many builders in the National Capital Region, builders like Kedia continue to indulge in gross ‘atrocities’ towards buyers. The project was brought out targeting the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). In 2007, NRIs were duped of huge sums of money, lured with advertising from celebrities like Mandira Bedi. Direct access to the colony from the Mumbai-Pune National Highway was the biggest promise, which is still hanging in the balance. The quality of construction is such that the six-seven families living battle dampness, mould and seepage every year, spending money on repairs almost annually. The project is incomplete and covered with wild vegetation. Due to dense wild bushes, there have been many fierce fires in the summer season and many bungalows were also caught in its grip. It is, however, a matter of coincidence that there were no casualties.

A frustrate resident, an erstwhile Navy officer, said “As the builder has not provided even basic amenities, people are not able to use their bungalows. People had spent dollars and pounds to pay for the ‘beautiful house’. Our money invested in the bungalow has become ‘zero’ but our builder has become rich and is working at other places leaving our project midway. Far from ameliorating the sorrows and pains of the buyers, they do not even talk to us. Our phone calls are not taken nor do they ever visit us. Many times people tried to convey their grief to them by e-mail but they did not respond. Sometimes promises have been made and broken within days. This is our story for over a decade now. ‘ A buyer of a bungalow in the colony, a senior engineer by profession and a member of the team, who was hurt by the builder’s fraud, said, “since we have invested a lot of money and also wanted to enjoy some of this breathtaking ‘magic’, so we started living here. The irony is that what to talk about ‘Anand hi Anand’, here we do not even have access to basic facilities. If people are scared even during the day when they come here, then their plight at night can be guessed. Many bungalows in our neighborhood are lying in ruins, which can also be called ‘haunted’ . The boundary wall of the colony is not even built.

There is total darkness in the night due to lack of street lights. Roads have not been built and the few that have been built have huge stones lying on them that if you do not take every step carefully, you will fall straight on your head. Out of about 400 bungalows only 150 have been handed over. The bushes in the deserted bungalows makes them look scary and also ideal habitat for many poisonous snakes. The feeling of insecurity haunts me day and night.” Another team member said, “Since I am a nature lover, I fell for the builder’s promises and booked my bungalow. All the things like security, medical, road connectivity are poor or absent. In such a situation, the promise of facilities of swimming pool and club remains a pipe dream. The builder went back on his promise and there seems to be little humanity left in them. We are forced to live in a ‘cursed’ place. Leaving us high and dry, they have started working on other projects. One project ‘Panvel Hills’ is starting right in front of our nose. The team members urged the Shinde government through this prestigious news agency and said, “ We call upon the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to take such a step that the builders either return our amount with due interest or a hand over the legal document to fulfill all the promises and show it by doing it. This should come under the purview of RERA. We have beautiful brochures in which it has been talked about providing all the necessary facilities. ‘Magic Hills’ has become cancer that it is mandatory to ‘heal’ it. Now many people living abroad have retired. As they have no other home, they have to live in this colony in a dire situation. Such people are imprisoned in the circle of extreme uncertainty and insecurity every moment. The owners of the bungalows in Magic Hills feel cheated and their angst over the builder’s ‘harassment’ runs deep.