Rajkot’s ‘The Space’ Apartment Complex Controversy: Allegations Over Parking Turned Garden, Public Outcry Against Government’s Parking Conversion in Public Spaces

Near Madhapar Chowkdi in Rajkot, builders have been accused of unauthorized construction activities in a high-rise building named “The Space”. The builders have allegedly encroached upon the government land to create parking space and have also violated fire safety regulations. Flat owners have filed written complaints against the builders with the local authorities, including the Revenue, Municipal, and Fire departments. However, the builder, Rashmikant Popat, has denied all allegations, stating that the construction was carried out in accordance with building regulations. He has accused some dissatisfied individuals of making false complaints due to personal grievances.

In an interview with Divyabhaskar, Mukund Raval, who purchased a flat in “The Space” near Madhapar Chowkdi, stated that builders Ranjit Pithadiya, Rashmikant Popat, and Devanshu Vora had constructed 2 and 3-bedroom flats in the year 2021. At the time of purchasing the flat, the builders claimed to provide all modern amenities, including a swimming pool, gym, garden, and well-organized parking. However, it has been revealed that there is no such provision for amenities as per the plans submitted to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and the Municipal Corporation. Raval has also uploaded videos on his YouTube channel showing the absence of amenities such as reserved parking and video doorbells, which were promised by the builders but not provided.

It has been further disclosed that the builders have misled flat owners by showcasing amenities such as a club house, parking, and swimming pool in the brochure, which have not been provided as per the promised standards. The areas shown for visitor parking have been converted into gardens, and the space designated for a swimming pool in the common plot plan remains undeveloped. Residents have been living in the flats for up to three years now, but fire safety equipment has not been installed yet.

Out of a total of 208 flats in the building, requests for intervention have been submitted by 23 flat owners regarding issues related to the residents’ welfare association (RERA) and maintenance. The response received so far is that all complaints are being investigated, especially those concerning fire safety. Officials from the fire department have held meetings after conducting inspections following fire safety-related complaints. However, due to various reasons, the implementation of fire safety measures has not yet been initiated. It is imperative that immediate steps be taken to address these concerns.

Another local resident named Rajesh Sidpara stated that in May 2021, he purchased a flat in the same building. At that time, the builder had assured full amenities, including 24-hour water supply. However, the issue of a 24-hour water supply had also been raised. It was not mentioned at that time that the temple and parking were built in a poor condition. Fire safety is very important. The fire safety facilities have not been in working condition for the last three years. When complaints were made to the municipal fire department, officials from the fire department as well as representatives of the builder came. It was then revealed that some pumps were not working and some pumps and panels were shut down. Despite a long time passing, no action has been taken yet.

Furthermore, it has been mentioned that unauthorized construction work has also been carried out here. A garden has been built in the parking area, where parking is done in a government plot. The swimming pool has been turned into a pit, and tiles have been placed on top of it. The gym has been built on the third floor, and an open sewage pipe was installed for access. The issue of water is also significant. People have to frequently order tankers for water supply. Despite promises made by the builder while selling the flats, any facilities have not been provided. Concerns have been raised about this matter, both at the municipal corporation and the real estate regulatory authority (RERA). However, the responses received so far suggest that investigations are ongoing. The builder is demanding to hand over the society quickly, but it is not feasible under these circumstances.

The builder of ‘The Space’ apartments informed Divyabhaskar that this building was constructed approximately three years ago. It was built according to the plan approved by the corporation. Only the construction work mentioned in the plan has been carried out. To address the residents’ requests, a garden has been created in half of the space in the outdoor parking area. This also required paying the necessary impact fee. Now, we want to hand over the society. For this purpose, a meeting was convened, and all the local requirements were fulfilled.

The builder has criticized the frequent complaints, stating that installing solar panels at a cost of Rs. 20 to 24 lakh would benefit the residents. He emphasized that all necessary work has been carried out from their end. Despite this, some dissatisfied individuals have been lodging complaints with the corporation and the real estate regulatory authority (RERA). They have also hired a chartered engineer to conduct inspections, and we are prepared to address any issues raised during the inspection. Furthermore, we have obtained a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for fire safety, for which we spent around Rs. 2.5 lakh this month.

If the corporation or RERA requires us to undertake any work, we are prepared to do so. However, it should be noted that such tasks would incur additional expenses, which could significantly increase the financial burden on the society. If the residents are willing to bear these costs, we can proceed accordingly. In the past, we had provided the gym facilities downstairs, but based on residents’ preferences, it was relocated to the upper floor. All necessary work, including paying the impact fee, has been completed by us. Therefore, it is essential for the residents to manage the society affairs effectively.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.