Supertech in trouble as Yamuna e-way township plan cancelled over forgery
GREATER NOIDA : One of NCR’s biggest real estate players, Supertech, has again landed its buyers in a big mess. The building plan for its 100-acre township – Upcountry – on the Yamuna Expressway has been cancelled after two successive CEOs of the Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) pointed out that the builder had got a revised plan sanctioned on the basis of a forged letter. Both recommended that an FIR be lodged against Supertech.
This letter from 2011 paved the way for Supertech to increase its ground coverage at the cost of open area in the township. Supertech thus sold an extra 730 plots and villas for an estimated Rs 343 crore.
It was only in 2015, when Supertech sought the completion certificate for the project, that two successive CEOs of YEIDA – Santosh Yadav and Anil Garg – pointed out that building plans had been modified on the basis of a forged document. ETRealty (TOI) has in its possession documents that show the grave concern raised by the two senior IAS officers as well as a copy of the forged letter.
Supertech Upcountry, with 28 towers, each housing 120 residential units, 948 villas and plots, is almost “sold-out”, according to the the builder’s website.
Supertech was allotted a 100-acre plot – TS-1 – in Sector 17A along the 165-km Yamuna Expressway on June 14, 2010. The plot was registered in August. The then chairperson and CEO of YEIDA Mohinder Singh sanctioned the layout plan of the residential township on January 25, 2011 as per YEIDA’s building bylaws of September 2009.
However, YEIDA received a letter (no: 2153/77-3-10-01) dated September 13, 2011, purportedly signed by ‘Secretary to the Government of UP, Alok Kumar’. The letter referred to Supertech Ltd’s proposed township, saying that since no construction had been carried out on the said plot, Supertech should be allowed to construct on TS-1 as per YEIDA’s new bylaws, which came into force in December 2010.
On a specific inquiry initiated in 2015 by the then YEIDA CEO, Santosh Yadav, a joint secretary of the UP government confirmed in writing that it had issued no such letter, which meant the September 13, 2011 letter was forged. When ETRealty (TOI) contacted the joint secretary, Devi Prasad, in Lucknow, he confirmed the UP government had not issued any such letter.
A senior YEIDA official told ETRealty(TOI), “Supertech had produced a letter from the government, which gave the builder the benefit of extra ground coverage due to implementation of the building bylaws of 2010. In 2015, the then YEIDA CEO Santosh Yadav was informed about the letter being fake after which a verification was carried out and the government confirmed that no such letter had been issued and that it was a fake. Yadav had then directed that a show-cause notice be issued to the builder and an FIR be lodged.”
“In compliance with Yadav’s directions, the sanctioned plan of the township has been cancelled. As far as the FIR is concerned, legal advice is being sought in the matter. In the meantime, the developer has made a representation to Noida Authority chairman Rama Raman (he is also the YEIDA chairman) that he be heard as the sanctioned plan was cancelled without a fair hearing. We then told him to approach the UP government as the matter involved a fake letter. The developer has now represented to the government that his sanctioned plan was wrongly cancelled and he has asked for his plan to be reinstated after imposing a financial penalty on him.”
Supertech CMD R K Arora told TOI he “was not aware of any letter between YEIDA and the government”. “The plan for the township was sanctioned in November 2011 as per applicable bylaws and condition of lease deed. Ground coverage is as per applicable bylaws.”
An architect familiar with the developments said the developer, under the new building bylaws, was able to avail 40% ground coverage instead of the original 25%. This resulted in the developer getting an additional 15 acres of area for horizontal development, which allowed him to sell 730 new plots and luxury villas spread across 91,460 square yards. At an average sale price of Rs 37,500 per sq yard, this works out to an extra Rs 342.98 crore.
This is not the first time that Supertech has been in trouble. In April 2014, the Allahabad high court directed two towers with 857 residential units at its Emerald Court project in Noida’s Sector 93A to be demolished for flouting building norms and violating provisions of the UP Apartments Act of 2010.
In April this year, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority directed Supertech to seal 1,009 flats and villas at its Czar complex in Greater Noida for large-scale violation of the sanctioned layout plan.
The forged letter from 2011 paved the way for Supertech to increase its ground coverage at the cost of open area in the township. Supertech thus sold an extra 730 plots and villas for an estimated Rs 343 crore.