RERA effect: Maharashtra govt to ‘name and shame’ officials who don’t clear builders’ files on time, delay construction
Any move to improve the approval process under RERA will ultimately benefit homebuyers, say real estate expertsmumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2017 19:42 IST
Good news for Mumbaiites, corrupt officials will no longer be able to delay construction work by refusing to clear builders’ files quickly. Not only will the newly formed housing regulatory body pass strictures against such officials, the state will also take action against them under the Right To Services Act.
Experts said the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), will speed up the approval process across the state. The news was welcomed by the real estate sector, which said projects tend to drag on for years owing to delays.
Gautam Chatterjee, interim chairman, RERA, said guilty officials would be ‘named and shamed’. “We will examine cases and if we find that officers are responsible for delays, we will pass strictures against them. We will forward cases to the concerned authority, who will take action against the guilty parties,” said Chatterjee. “The process will help us pinpoint who is responsible for the delay,” he added.
The move is significant as builders had expressed concerns that while they will be penalised under RERA norms for delivering houses late, there are no clauses penalising officials responsible for delaying permissions. They said this was unjust as it would lead to them being penalised for reasons beyond their control.
Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director, Hiranandani Group, said the move would make all stakeholders accountable. “The state government has addressed developers’ concerns. We hope that approvals will come faster now,” said Hiranandani
For years, delays in the approval process had acted as the biggest deterrent to the realty sector. This, along with corruption in the local government, was cited as a major reason for high real estate prices. Until now, the builder had to go to multiple agencies, from the civic body to the state government and the Centre. Though approvals must be given before a particular deadline, officials did not adhere to this rule and took years to approve projects. This led to exponential increases in the cost of projects.
Real estate experts said any move to improve the approval process would ultimately benefit homebuyers. “This will ensure that market supply rises and prices are kept under control. It will also reduce project costs,” said Anuj Puri, chairman, Jones Lang LaSalle (Residential), a real estate consultancy firm.
Ghulam Zia, executive director, Knight Frank India, said the move would spur the under-construction market, which has been down for the past four years. “People will now have confidence to book such homes as they are now assured of timely deliveries,” said Zia.