Court action against errant land developers before year end – Saul

Court action against errant land developers who were sold swathes of land on the East Bank Demerara corridor will be filed before the end of the year, according to CH&PA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lelon Saul.

During a recent interview with Stabroek News at his Brickdam office, Saul reiterated that court action will be taken but declined to identify those developers or say how many will be taken to court.

“…before the year ends you will see the agency taking several defaulters (developers) to court, those who have failed to deliver on their promises”, he said

Saul said that he had written to several of the defaulting developers and subsequently held meetings with them. Some, he informed have indicated that they are faced with challenges. Saul told Stabroek News that he has indicated the Authority’s willingness to work with those developers to overcome whatever challenges they are faced with.

Besides the 100 acres sold to Brian Tiwarie’s BK International Inc–Sunset Lakes Inc, 50 acres were sold to Buddy’s Housing Development; 14 to Dax Contracting Service Incorporated; 25 to Nabi Construction Incorporated; 50 to Cumberland Developers Inc., 25 to Vikab Engineering Consultants Ltd; and 28.8 to Luxury Realty Inc. All of these lands are located at Providence and were bought in 2011 with the exception of Luxury Realty Inc., which purchased its lands in 2013.

According to what was seen by this newspaper, 25 acres in the Peter’s Hall area were sold to Kishan Bacchus Construction; 50 acres in 2011 and an additional 25 acres in 2014 of land in the same area were sold to Caricom General Insurance Company Inc. Navigant Builders Inc and Windsor Gardens Inc. were also sold parcels of land in the Peter’s Hall area. In 2012 and 2014, 25 and 15 acres, respectively, were acquired by Navigant Builders Inc., while Windsor Forest Inc. acquired 40 acres.

Queensway was sold 35 acres of land at Block 22 A, Block Y Golden Grove. This newspaper was unable to ascertain in which year the purchase was made.

A total of six developers purchased land in the Little Diamond/Great Diamond area. Queensville Housing acquired 12.5 acres; A&R Jiwanram Printery Inc, 7.64 acres; RayDan Housing Enterprise, 16.9 acres; Hi Tech Construction Inc., 20 acres; and Romel Jagroop General Construction Services, 12.5 acres. All of these purchases were made during the year 2014.

Last on the list was Mohamed’s Enterprise, which purchased 14.94 acres of land in the same area in early 2015.

These lands were supposed to be developed for the construction and sale of homes.

Since the APNU+AFC administration took office in May, 2015, the 18 developers who bought almost 600 acres of prime housing lands, stretching from Providence to Golden Grove, have been repeatedly warned to get their act together and to honour the agreements that they had signed with the CH&PA. The recent court action to reclaim land sold to one of those developers, businessman Brian Tiwarie, is a clear sign that the Authority is serious.

Saul had told this newspaper in an interview earlier this month that while the Authority intends to take legal action to repossess the land from the errant developers, he would urge the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to ensure full tax collection from those who have opted to sell the lands allocated to make a sizeable profit.

A court action has already been filed to repossess the land sold to Tiwarie.

According to the available information, Tiwarie had signed an agreement via his Sunset Lakes Inc Company with the CH&PA to purchase and develop the 100 acres of land at a cost pegged at $475 million. He paid a quarter of the sum and had six months to pay off the balance.

In 2014, Tiwarie went into partnership with Chu Hongbo of Baishanlin and it was agreed that Chu would pay him US$8 million and develop the site. As part of the agreement, Tiwarie would also get to keep some of the house lots in the gated community for his personal use.

However, Tiwarie took  Chu to court in 2016 for the balance of US$4 million on the agreed purchase price. It is unclear if this matter has been settled.

A local bank which gave a loan to the new owners of the land is also seeking to recoup its money.


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