In what will come as a relief to homebuyers, Maharashtra’s real-estate regulatory authority is likely to start functioning from January after the state government appointed a regulator for the body on Monday. Former Indian Administration Service (IAS) officer Gautam Chatterji, currently working as officer on special duty (OSD) for chief minister Devendra Fadanvis, has been appointed as the regulator.
Chatterji will hold the charge of housing regulatory authority until the body is constituted,” said Sanjay Kumar, additional chief secretary of the housing department. A government resolution was issued on Monday.
Chatterji’s appointment will bring relief to homebuyers being cheated or misguided by developers. They can approach the housing regulatory authority with their grievances. The quasi-judicial authority will also help resolve disputes between developers and buyers.
The Housing Regulatory Bill was passed by the Centre, following which the state government had passed the Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and Development) Act to set up the authority. The state government has also formulated the draft Maharashtra Real Estate (Regulation and Development) (General) rules 2016, and the final rules are expected to be notified by the first week of January.
“Draft rules are already in the public domain. The deadline to accept suggestions and objections from the people has been extended to December 31 from December 23. We are hoping to notify the rules in January, and once it is done, the housing regulator will be able to start functioning full-fledged,” said a senior officer from the housing department.
The state government has laid special emphasis on issues related to redevelopment in the draft rules, which were left out of the ambit of the Central Act. According to the draft rules, registration of promoters and real estate agents and the project will become mandatory and those held guilty of providing wrong information or misguiding flat buyers will be penalised by the authority.
Chatterji, an IAS officer from the 1982 batch, has experience of handling the housing sector in the state government. During his stint with the government, he held the post of principal secretary of the housing department and looked into crucial housing policy issues, including a proposal to establish a housing regulator, Dharavi redevelopment scheme and amending slum rehabilitation laws. He also worked as chief executive officer of the state’s mass housing body Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) and worked as additional municipal commissioner of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) as well.