New Delhi: One of the country's largest real-estate developers, Jaypee, has told the Supreme Court that it would like to sell a major highway in Delhi and use the returns to pay back some of the money it owes to more than 30,000 people to whom it has not been able to deliver the apartments it owes.
Jaypee Infratech said today that it would like to hand over the Yamuna Expressway to another developer who has offered it 2,500 crores for the project.
Jaypee has been asked to deposit 2,000 crores by the 27th of this month with the Supreme Court so that flat-owners can be refunded. 40 who bought flats at a Jaypee project in Uttar Pradesh have challenged the bankruptcy law introduced last year claiming that it gives banks that lend to property developers unfair priority, and fails to safeguard homebuyers.
Banks have asked for Jaypee Infratech to be declared bankrupt on account of unpaid loans worth about 500 crores. Once a company declares itself bankrupt, buyers are unlikely to get either their promised apartments or have investments returned.
From the mid-2000s onwards, lakhs of middle-class Indians, eager to own their own homes, poured cash into new building projects on the outskirts of major cities as a property boom took hold.
But many major residential property projects in India have been held up as real estate companies put the cash invested by homebuyers to uses other than completing existing projects, leaving consumers who poured in their money stranded.
The six-lane Yamuna Expressway, which links Delhi to Agra, was built by Jaypee in 2012 for a cost of 13,000 crores; the company has stake in the project which entitles it to developing townships along the freeway. It also earns from toll collected on the highway.