In a significant development on Saturday, the Crime Branch of Odisha has sealed the head office of Hi-Tech Group located in Shahid Nagar. Hi-Tech Group MD Tirupati Panigrahi and two other Directors, who were arrested in December last year, are currently in jail for alleged land fraud.
The multi-storied building of the Hi-Tech Group is worth Rs 10 crore. The Crime Branch has already seized 18 bank accounts of Hi-Tech Group, amounting to Rs 5 crore. Hi-Tech Group runs several real estate businesses, a private medical college and hospital and educational institutions.
At least three more buildings of Rajdhani Estates and Promoters Pvt. Ltd. could be locked soon. Rajdhani Estates, the prime real estate arm of Hi-Tech Group is accused of cheating over 1,500 customers in five separate land schemes a few years ago. The projects included Kalyan Vihar, Kunja Vihar and Bhagya Nagar. The total fraud is said to be worth Rs 350 crore.
The existing customers of the Hi-Tech Group, who have booked for the flats, are in a state of shock. Their housing projects have been stopped and there is no confirmation when they would resume. The government has been silent towards their plight. Even banks and financial institutions, which offered loans to the customers on the basis of the projects, are not taking any serious action to resolve the crisis.
The Bhubaneswar branch of the GIC (General Insurance Corporation) does not even verify the progress work on the projects before releasing the loan amount. Such callousness on the part of the banks and financial institutions have been highly resented by the customers.