Nagpur: Some weeks ago, the flat owners of Empress City, touted as old Nagpur’s first luxury township with “world class amenities” held a press conference were they for the first time spoke up about the pathetic conditions they were living in with no drinking water supply, no intercom, no CCTV and unsafe play areas for their kids.
One of their main grievances against their builder, KSL, was that though they had been promised that construction work of the apartments, and the whole Empress city – mall – software project was going to be undertaken by the reputed Company Shapoorji Pallonji and Co., they had in reality, neither built, nor supervised construction of flats. (Which were supposedly designed by Hafeez Contractor).
They pointed out the poor construction quality, and even very simple things like not keeping even spacing in the staircase, as examples of poor workmanship.
“Forget this reputed company, even a good supervisor did not over see construction work of the exorbitantly expensive flats, unskilled construction labour has built this complex” they alleged.
Rightly enough, after the first installment of our story on Empress City came out, pointing out how unsafe and unhygienic the area was for kids, we received first a phone and then an e mail from Shapoorji Pallonji group, which is given below:
“Further our conversation, please find below a statement from Shapoorji Pallonji Group with respect to your article which was published on Nagpurtoday.in When Dream House turns into Nightmare and moms are terrified of sending kids to play.
We confirm that “our scope of work in the township was only the construction of the Mall and Software park” and not the entire project, as mentioned in the article. The entire complaint mentioned in the article is with regards to the residential area which was not part of our contract. We request you to correct the error in the story immediately and carry the same on your website.”
signed — Arathi
So, the interesting point is that Shapoorji Pallonji agree that they have constructed the Empress
Mall and the Software part adjacent to it, but not the residential area!
(Every buyer was under the impression that it is an integrated single project with one Builder, one Architect and one Building contractor. So who really built the flats ? Or, the Empress City?)
We went back to the flat owners about this communication from Shapoorji Pallonji and asked them if they had in black and white anywhere that this company was in charge of construction.
Even they were confused and said this is what they were told and would double check it in the brochures.
The brochures clearly spell out the name of this company as the builder contractor.
To quote verbatim, the brochure says:
“Designed by Hafeez Contractor,
Construction undertaken by Shapoorji Pallonji.”
So the vexing question is – Who really built the Empress City flats??
Not just the flats, the flat owners were sold a whole bill of goods.
An A class club house to go with the flats – each flat owner was charged Rs. 4.72 lakhs as membership of club and parking facilities. And many other such ‘benefits’ – which remain on paper.
As a cursory look at the ‘city’ will show there is no such club anywhere in sight!
To borrow from the famous line of a famous Anchor-
“Nagpur would really like to know, Nagpur wants to know
Who Built the Empress City?? Did it come up on its own?”
—Sunita Mudaliar (Executive Editor)