On Thursday, hope came in the form of a Supreme Court order directing the demolition of the adjoining building. Buyers say the move will give their case a leg-up as the builder will be held accountable. “This order proves that the buildings were in violation of the norms and will help us in getting our money back,” said one of the owners, Ratna Mishra.
Mishra, who works in the human resources department of an engineering firm, said she is losing sleep as she has a loan tenure for 20 years with an EMI of 53,000 – for a flat that is soon going to be demolished.
The cost of the flat was 70 lakh and she took a loan of 58 lakh. The bank, in its first disbursal, released 15 lakh. “I wanted to finish payments as soon as possible. So I dug out 30 lakh from my personal savings of 20 years to pay the builder,” she said. “There is no sense of security. Thankfully, my daughter, who wants to study abroad, understands the situation,” she added.
Meanwhile, another owner S Ramamurthy, a retired civil engineer who worked in the Public Works Department of the Puducherry government, pays 25,000 as loan from the 35,000 he and his wife receive as pension. “I sold my old flat in West Mambalam and wanted to shift to Porur as my daughter and son-in-law live close by. I wanted to spend my retired life in peace – and more importantly on my own feet, without depending on anyone,” he said. “My wife and I toiled all our lives to be independent but now we have to depend on our children. Not that they are not willing to support us, but I feel I have lost my dignity by asking them for help,” he said.
Kancheepuram collector R Gajalakshmi, who will have to carry out the demolition order, says she has not received the official copy yet. “I have been informed of the order but will have to receive the official copy as it will have other instructions. Once I receive the order, it will be complied with immediately,” she said.
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