Promoters of mega-housing projects and approved colonisers and builders in Mohali owe more than Rs 446 crore in outstanding debts, according to the annual audit report of the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) by the Indian Audit and Accounts Department for the year 2014-15.
17 mega-project promoters and 20 approved colonisers have defaulted in the payment of external development charges and licence fees, said the report, adding that the failure to recover this amount has resulted in the blocking of funds and has affected development work in the area.
Last year, too, the audit report had pointed out an outstanding amount of Rs 280 crore against 25 mega projects and 163 approved builders.
In accordance with Section 5 of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, the EDC and licence fee are to be deposited by colonisers based on the total area to be developed, failing which 10 per cent normal interest and three percent penal interest is chargeable. However, 37 builders have failed to pay Rs 446.22 crore.
“The same point was raised last year as well. In its reply, GMADA had said that notices are being issued regularly and that action is being initiated against defaulters,” said the report, which had been prepared by an audit team from the office of the Principal Accountant General (Audit), Punjab, and headed by assistant audit officer Harkanwal Jit Singh.
GMADA sources said that the builders in question include Unitech, Ansal API, Taneja Developers and Infrastructure (TDI), Omaxe, Janta Land and Promoters Pvt Ltd (JLPL), RKM Housing, PACL, and Bajwa Developers (Sunny Enclave). Unitech owes around Rs 80-90 crore to GMADA.
“However, these builders cannot be termed defaulters any more because they have started paying the amount as per a revised policy by the government in February this year according to which they can pay 10 per cent of the amount upfront and the rest in 18 instalments. Most of the mega-projects have started paying their instalments and, therefore, we cannot take action against them any more. However, there are smaller builders like RKM Housing, Shiwalik Site Planners etc which have defaulted and we have started issuing them notices,” said an official.