It’s been a decade of ordeals for the residents of the plush Mayfield Gardens in Gurgaon who are living in their Rs 1 crore plus apartments without basic amenities of water, power and sewage. A Ganesh Nadar reports.
The two satellite cities around Delhi -- Noida and Gurgaon -- are known to have one of the best infrastructure setups in the country.
The Cyber Hub and adjoining Mayfield Garden in Gurgaon’s Sector 51 is among the most upscale areas in the city.
The 327 acres township of Mayfield Garden has 3,000 residents who have paid a minimum of Rs 1 crore for an apartment.
Sadly, they are living here without basic civic amenities. And now they are pinning their hopes on Justice Preetam Pal, the Lokayukta of Haryana.
The license to develop this plot was given to 21 companies in 1994. Mergers followed, and finally five companies emerged.
Each of the five companies started developing their own areas and bookings started in 2004. In 2005, the first tenants moved in.
Retired Naval Commander Dharamveer Yadav booked a plot here in 2004 and was given possession of an individual bungalow in 2006. He had paid Rs 45 lakh for a 300 square yard plot with a bungalow built on 60 per cent of the area.
Yadav, who is now the president of the Mayfield Garden Residents Welfare Association, recalls at that time there was no power supply and electricity was supplied by a diesel generator.
“Only lights and fans worked,” says.
Power supply came in 2007 and only then could he install an air-conditioner in his home.
“To qualify for a separate 66 KV substation you need a specific capacity which none of the five developers needed individually, so none applied,” says Yadav.
In 2007 the electricity board sanctioned 2.5 MW for this colony. By this time flats in this society where selling for Rs 1 crore.
The residents still do not have power in spite of the fact that the electricity department sanctioning another 2.8 MW.
The electricity board decided to build a substation and told the five builders to collectively deposit Rs 47 crore. They promised to build it within a year. The builders did not deposit the money.
In June 2013 the Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission stopped the board from giving new connections. The 3,000 residents were left in the lurch.
Now let’s talk about water. Till 2011 the builders dug bore-wells and supplied water. The same year the Central Ground Water Authority ordered that bore-wells should not be dug as the water table had dropped alarmingly. Now water is supplied by water tankers, which is very expensive.
In January 2012, the high court also banned tube wells. The court said that for construction purposes they could use the water that was generated by sewage plants.
What is the position on sewage? Each of the five builders has its own sewage plot where they have dug holes to remove the water.
The government water board has promised that canal water will be supplied to 18 points in this complex and the builder has to give the last point connectivity.
The Haryana Town and Country Planning Department cancelled the license of all the five builders in February, 2012 and took over the work. They needed money and so auctioned free land available in the township and also encashed the bank guarantees of the builders.
The builders went to the appellate authority in the government and got stay order saying, “Don’t encash bank guarantees, don’t prosecute builders”.
The residents approached the Lokayukta who visited the township on April 19. Justice Preetam Pal told the Haryana Urban Development Authority Administrator P C Meena to takeover the work here and personally supervise it.
Meena told the builders to deposit Rs 47 crore within a month. He also told them to keep 18 points ready for connection for the canal water supply and 19 points ready to be connected to the drainage board sewers.
The next hearing is on July 7. The residents are hoping that they will see light, water and drainage after that.
This is the case of people who buy flats for Rs 1 crore. Imagine the plight of people who live in cheaper homes.
Image: A view of the Mayfield Gardens in Gurgaon