Posted On Friday, August 17, 2012 at 08:31:04 AM
|Brahma Emerald County residents approached Pune Dist Consumer Forum that ordered the builder to pay for water supply
In what is being seen as a major blow to the builder community, the Pune District Consumer Forum in its interim order has asked city construction major Brahma Skyline Developers to provide potable water to flat owners of Brahma Emerald County on NIBM Road until the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) starts supplying water to the complex.
At the time they obtain an occupancy certificate, builders have to show the civic body that their building has a access to a road, drinking water, electricity, etc. In case the area where the building is located has poor or no water supply, the builder gives an undertaking to provide water at his cost — which is what Brahma Skyline did.
This order will have major repercussions as today a majority of builders construct residential projects on the city’s outskirts, where they obtain occupancy certificates by providing an undertaking saying that they will provide water to flat owners as these areas are located at the end of the PMC’s water supply network.
Anjali Deshmukh, president of the Additional District Consumer Redressal Forum passed the order on August 9. She ordered the builder supply adequate potable water as well as for domestic use to the society with immediate effect.
The forum observed in its order that the builder failed to fulfil promises made to residents and has not adhered to the commitment given to PMC while obtaining an occupancy certificate. In the undertaking, Brahma had stated that since the area was located at the end of PMC’s water supply network there should not be any complaint against them in case of poor water supply.
They had also stated that if required, adequate water would be provided to residents at the cost of the builder and that water supplied by PMC would only be used for drinking while water for domestic use would be supplied at the builder’s cost.
“At the time of purchasing the apartments, the builder did not tell us of this undertaking. Water is not being supplied to the society that comprises 350 flats. We had to purchase 35 tankers from private water suppliers. The charge for this supply is Rs 3.5 lakh a day.
We charge our members Rs 3.50 per sq ft as maintenance charges to pay for the water,” said Habib Patel, the society chairman. In January 2012, when the issue of water supply was raised by residents in the first Annual General Body Meeting, the builder committed to pay for water supply. The builder also assured residents that water from PMC would be made available in the next four months.
However, from June 16, 2012 onwards the builder stopped supplying water to the society and asked for them to arrange for water on their own as the maintenance charges were handed over to the society. Advocate Aruna Nafadey, convenor of the Pune Forum for Flat Owners (PFFO) said, “It is a welcome order for a large section of society that has to purchase water.
Now, the builders association must come forward and ask those of their members, who have given the PMC an undertaking while obtaining an occupancy certificate, to provide water to these projects at their own cost. Nafadey further said, “The PMC, which is responsible for the provision of essential services is shying away from its responsibility when it comes to supplying water to residential complexes situated on the outskirts of the city.
An important fact is that neither the builder nor the PMC disclose the undertaking to consumers. This means that the flat owner is cheated into believing that the PMC will supply water. It is only after the builder hands over possession and exits the scene, does the consumer get a reality bite. Hassan Shaikh, CEO of Bramha Skyline Developers, said, “It is an interim order and we are going to challenge it with a higher judicial authority.
Although we as developers have given an undertaking, it is not mandatory for us to provide water free of cost. We can facilitate water supply, but the cost of water should be paid by the flat owners. No services are available for free. Such an undertaking does not have any standing in the Maharastra Ownership of Flats Act -1963 (MOFA).
► We had to purchase 35 tankers daily from private water suppliers. The charge for this supply is `3.5 lakh a day
- Habib Patel, Chairperson