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Banker-property mafia for illegal home loans

NEW DELHI: If you want to buy a house in Delhi’s unauthorised colonies and lack enough money to pay in cash, don’t worry. There are loan agents to help you out. Most banks don’t sanction home loans for houses in unauthorised colonies, but they look the other way while handing you the cheque if you pay a certain premium or bribes.

This correspondent learnt it firsthand when he met property agents in colonies such as Budh Vihar in north west Delhi, and Ganesh Nagar and Vinod Nagar in east Delhi, which have of late emerged as bustling habitats due to Metro Rail connectivity and infrastructure development.

While prices of a two-bedroom flat vary between Rs 35 lakh and Rs 50 lakh based on localities, property dealers assured this reporter that one can purchase the flat even if he doesn’t have enough cash. There are always a way to avail bank loans. “Private banks are still not granting loans here. But one can get these through agents. You will have to pay a commission of 7-8 per cent on the loan amount,” said Ankit Bansal, a property agent in Vinod Nagar of east Delhi.

Bansal fixed a meeting with the loan agent in east Delhi. “How much loan do you need?” he asked, identifying himself as Varun. He claimed that his job was to facilitate loans from various nationalised banks. When the reporter asked about the procedure, he said, “Just provide photocopies of some basic documents such as ID proof, income or salary certificates, IT Returns, bank account statement and property papers. You will have to wait for about a month for verification process. Thereafter, you will have to come to the bank to sign the loan document.”

Varun said a loan of Rs 20 lakh will require Rs 1.5 lakh as commission. “This is the going rate. You may try with other agents. They also charge same commission,” he added.
This correspondent also talked to some buyers to know their side of stories.

The Yamuna development plans are being derailed by property mafia with the help of police and other authorities.
“Ban on any kind of construction in Zone ‘O’ or River Zone of Delhi has no effect here. You can see how rampant is the construction of illegal flats and houses here,” said Arun Rai of Badarpur, adding that lack of action by the authorities has resulted in flourishing of builder mafias.
Manoj Gupta, who bought a flat in Jaitpur area about a year ago, regrets his decision. He was not aware that the house would be an illegal property. “I had some cash and bought the flat for `24 lakh. But, when I started staying here, people told me that construction in this area was illegal as it came under the river zone of Delhi. I don’t know what to do now,” he added.

Posing as a buyer of a two-bedroom flat, this correspondent visited Jaitpur, Meethapur and Madanpur Khadar, in proximity of Kalindi Kunj and Noida, and spoke to property dealers while trying to get the details about operation of the building mafia in the region where construction is banned. It was found that illegal construction has been going on in the area with the help of a nexus between builder mafia and authorities. In fact, rates of bribes are fixed for different sizes of plots and types of buildings.
Sunil Tyagi, a property dealer in Jaitpur, said, “A two-bedroom flat costs `25-30 lakh and the rate varies according to location.” When asked about the legal aspects, he tried to assure that nothing would happen to these flats. “You must be aware that construction here is banned as the area is near the Yamuna.

But that doesn’t make any difference. Hundreds of buildings have been constructed, and people have been staying here since long,” he said, while trying to convince the correspondent to buy the flat.
Another property dealer did not hesitate to share the details of money transaction that goes during construction of buildings. “If you want to start construction on a 100 square-yard plot, you need to pay at least `1 lakh to the police. Rate is lower for construction of individual houses and higher for construction of multiple flats,” said Ramesh Singh, a property dealer in Madanpur Khadar.

After talking to some property dealers, it was not tough to understand the economy of constructing and selling flats. A plot measuring around 120 square yards costs around `25-30 lakh. A builder generally constructs three floors comprising six flats. Each flat is sold at `25 lakh or more. Simple calculation reveals the huge profit margin and the reason behind the flourishing business.
Romil Banniya, DCP, south-east Delhi, said police keep taking action against such activities. “Police seize material. Land-owning agencies concerned are also informed, and it is their duty to seal the building or take action,” he added.
Local sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Joginder Sehrawat said, “Stopping illegal construction doesn’t come under his purview.” When reminded that construction on agricultural land along the Yamuna comes under his department, he failed to reply.

“Construction has been going on in many areas under the O Zone. We have approached the authorities against banned constructions,” said Manoj Mishra, Convener, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.
Arun Rai, general secretary, Delhi Vikas Morcha, an NGO, has also raised the issue time and again before authorities.
In his complaint to the police and Delhi L-G office, he has alleged that builder mafia has become active in the area as the local police have failed to take action. “Police stop only poor people who can’t afford to pay money to them. Builders who construct flats are never stopped,” said Rai.

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