As the nation paid tribute to the freedom fighters, martyrs, and our brave women and men in the armed forces on the 72nd Independence Day, Lieutenant General LN Singh who would be retiring from the services in three months, is undergoing a nightmarish experience. He has been made to run from pillar to post just so that he gets the promised apartment which was supposed to be completed by 2016 itself. Do we honour the valour and sacrifice of our brethren in the armed forces on just one day or do we do it in our daily lives?
“Don’t have a place to live after retirement”
Lt Gen LN Singh, who joined the esteemed National Defence Academy at the age of 16, has served close to four decades in armed forces. It is also to be noted that Lt Gen LN Singh also happens to be the third person ever from North-East to have attained the second highest rank of Lieutenant General in the Indian Army.
Lt Gen Singh booked a 2BHK+Study flat with a company named Orris under their project Greenopolis around the end of 2011. The apartment was to be constructed at Gurgaon. “The cost of the flat was Rs 88 lakh and I had taken a loan to pay about 80% of the cost. Post this I was paying regular EMIs of Rs 75,000,” Lt Gen Singh told The Logical Indian.
In 2012, Orris entered into a deal with another company named 3C. It was now a joint venture. By this time he had already paid about 20%-30% of the total cost. “Suddenly in 2014, the company started asking me to pay 10% of the cost every three months. I did not mind as I thought that my flat was also getting constructed at a similar pace,” he said.
In 2015, he got to know that the construction had completely stopped. “I told them that I have no house to live, post my retirement, even for the pension I would have to produce the document of my permanent residence, which I don’t have now.”
Lt Gen LN Singh, who had by then paid about 90% of the total cost, was offered another flat of some other project, “I realised that this was their attempt to cheat me. The house they showed me was not at all up to the expectations, also it costed more than the original deal,” he said. When he sought to meet with the management of Orris, the management constantly deputed junior executives. “It seems that it is below their dignity to meet with the buyer,” he rues. Lt Gen Singh alleges that he was constantly fed lies and this year when he approached the builders again, he was told that the refund will only be provided to him if he came with the court order. “I asked them why they did not tell this to me before. Now with just three months for my retirement, how can I run around the court?”
The Logical Indian tried multiple times to contact Orris, but they are yet to respond on this issue.
The decorated officer has no other option but to shift to a rented house in his home state, Manipur, post his retirement.
Have approached HaRERA
It is to be noted that the Haryana government, under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 of the Indian government had established Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (HaRERA). This authority seeks to facilitate the growth and promotion of a healthy, transparent, efficient and competitive real estate sector while protecting the interest of allottees, promoters and real estate agents.
Lt Gen LN Singh says he and the affected 2,500 families have already approached HaRERA. “The response from HaRERA is very encouraging. Hearings have already been going on. But the question is how long will this ordeal last? Once I shift to Manipur, it would be very difficult for me to come every time to Delhi,” he says, adding that he plans to hire a lawyer and approach the consumer court now.
The Logical Indian take
It is extremely appalling to know that a person who has dedicated 40 years of his life to the nation is being denied a house which is rightfully his. Not just him, but 2,500 more families are being affected by this. It is imperative to understand that people like Lt Gen Singh invest their whole life’s saving hoping for a dignified post-retirement life. The Logical Indian hopes that the authorities take due note of his and several other affected families’ plight into consideration and serve justice at the earliest.