Stalled Township

  • Hritvick Sen / FG
  • India
  • Jun 01, 2012



Ardee City, that was to be one of Gurgaon’s shining examples in township construction, is slowly turning into a morass of legal wrangles and harassed residents. With problems pouring out of every nook and cranny, there is scarce hope of a doable solution to the mess.

Since the passing away of the developer Ashok Verma, his two daughters have locked the lands and the money in a legal tussle of inheritance. There is no one in place to take charge, and deal with the day to day issues. “With no leadership at the builder firm, the maintenance of the place has gone to pieces. We have entreated the Town and Country Planning Department officials so many times, to set the record straight – but there is no relief for us
in sight.”

It was to be a promising township, with builder floors and condominiums spread across 210 acres. R.S Vatsa, a resident of Ardee City condominium, The Residency, says that a lot of promised maintenance has yet to be fulfilled. He revealed that the Clubhouse is being used as a maintenance office, and “they can’t even repair the road in front of their office, let alone the rest of the colony.”

When the condominium was made (the first of nine proposed), it encroached upon 4,000 square feet of private land. The milk booth donated to the residents by the builder was also made illegally on encroached land. Even the school which they run, has ownership issues,” he states. “The issue of encroachment is so widespread that almost every structure is encroaching on someone’s else’s land.”

The residents of the Condominium had even taken the maintenance agency to the consumer court, over maintenance charges. “We are paying Re. 1 per square foot. The agency is saying that it is too low, and wants to raise it to Rs. 2.40 rupees per square foot. That rate is paid by residents in condominiums like the Icon and The Pinnacle, where they have facilities such as swimming pools and what not. We don’t even have a Clubhouse to ourselves. Why should we pay such hiked rates, and that too for half the services?”

Another thorn in their side is the non-completion of the promised township – much like the Mayfield Gardens issue. The condominiums, the community parks, the roads have not been constructed as per the builder’s earlier promises. Several hundred investors, who had put in their money to buy flats in the nine condominiums, have been left high and dry in the Palm Grove projects

Considering the state of affairs in Ardee City, what would be a solution to its maintenance woes?  “Of course, a government agency, together with our knowledge of the area, and the RWA at work, would be the acceptable alternative. The current situation
is unacceptable.

However, residents are equally wary of such solutions. One of them said that he had heard that World Spa was not being run so well, now that it being run by the residents. “They have their own jobs and lives, and maintenance is a full-time job.” Vatsa is equally sceptical of the Mayfield model. “Why would HUDA invest its money in the maintenance of another’s township? The problem is of too many owners complicating the maintenance and ownership process, and then having their licences revoked.  How will HUDA get the money to run the place? They can’t sell the land without the owner’s permission, and that legal battle can go on without a time-limit.” But he was confident that their fight against the builder and the maintenance agency will bear fruit, without the aid of outside parties.

As of now, “HUDA has promised piped water supply, instead of our dependence on the five borewells we are using right now,” says Kaul.  Roughly a Rs. 88 crore project, envisioned in 2011, it has been reportedly delayed over and over again; but Kaul has confidence that piped water supply will be a reality soon for the residents.

The problems of Ardee City seem to be without end. The builder is missing in action, the land is locked, the maintenance agency is toothless and underpaid, and there is little or no upkeep being done in the vast township. The residents would have to come together openly along with the builder and the TCP, to demand their rights. The answer could be a government agency assisted maintenance, or the builder coming back to complete the township. 

Meanwhile, we have another private builder township in serious trouble. Mayfields Gardens got HUDA support. World Spa RWA has taken it upon itself. These clearly are not the most effective
‘long term’ solutions

Town and Country Planning, and HUDA, need to be far more responsible and accountable. This state of affairs should not come have to pass


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