cities

Man tricked into paying Rs. 77,000 as EDC

An employee of a private firm, Ajay Kumar, holding a 2BHK unit in Signature Global’s Affordable Housing Project Solera in Sector 107, was been tricked by the builder into paying Rs. 77,000 as External Development Charges (EDC), which is against the government’s policy.

Though the Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) recently clarified that the collection of EDC for Affordable Housing Project was illegal, the builder is still non-committal on returning the money.

It is not known exactly how many flat holders have paid the EDC, but it is estimated that a majority of the 1,000 flat owners have done it. The builder has allegedly collected illegal EDC in two more Affordable Housing Projects and the amount could run into crores.

Mr. Kumar said that he received a demand notice from the builder in May this year seeking the EDC. “Though I had doubts whether the builder was justified in seeking the EDC, I was not aware of the policy. When contacted, the builder showed us documents claiming that he had paid the EDC to the government, so he could collect it from us,” said Mr. Kumar.

However, when some of the flat holders complained on the CM Window, the public redress system, it became clear that the builder did not have the mandate to collect the EDC.

“I started seeking return of the money, but there was no response. A fortnight ago, the DTCP came with an order making it clear that the collection of EDC over the prescribed rates was illegal. I wrote to the builder again with the order copy. They said they were seeking more clarification on it,” said Mr. Kumar.

Another flat owner, not willing to be identified, said he too paid around Rs. 68,000 as EDC and now wanted his money back with interest.

DTCP Director K.M. Pandurang told
The Hindu
over the phone that the Affordable Housing Project policy was clear on rates prescribed and the department could not be held responsible for flat owners paying the charges illegally to the builders.

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