A major test looms for our property reforms
Dust clouds from Sunday’s demolition of two Supertech buildings have settled in, but they can’t cover the reality of India’s real estate sector, especially the many unfinished apartment buildings that blanket the Noida-Greater landscape Noida. For many homebuyers, the Supreme Court-ordered razing of these twin towers in Noida was proof that the law can catch up with builders and government officials in cahoots. But the question remains: what will deter future violations by rogue real estate actors? As of June 2022, according to an estimate by a real estate consultancy firm, construction of around 240,000 homes remained at a standstill in the National Capital Region (NCR) alone. This problem has been brewing for a long time. Until about 2015, the NCR was the expansion zone of a loosely regulated business. The builders, many of whom had political connections, embarked on a reckless expansion, buying up land of dubious provenance, selling the dream of vast townships to a budding middle class. Much of this has been fueled by money from speculators. There remained the real buyers who had been promised houses delivered after years of delay – at effective prices much higher than those to which they had been committed – or which had never been built. After the boom ended, many big name names went bankrupt.