More than two years after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) submitted a proposal to make builders accountable for the quality of houses they sell, the state government is yet to act on it.
The BMC had requested the government to amend the laws so that a developer or builder will be forced to give a guarantee of the construction in the sale agreement with flat buyers. The civic general body had unanimously passed the resolution and forwarded it to the state government, which has the power to make legal provisions for it.
The government says the subject is under consideration and a legal provision for it was being made.
In the resolution passed by its general body in July 2008, the BMC wanted to make it mandatory for builders to give a guarantee for 25 years for the quality of the construction of the flat they sell, starting from the date of possession.
It also wanted to make it legally binding on developers to repair minor faults such as seepages, leakages and cracks and also fix any major structural damages during the guarantee period.
To implement the BMC’s decision, the state will have to amend the law. According to the law, the BMC approves the construction plan for any new building and no developer can start construction without seeking a work commencement certificate (CC) from the BMC.
“There is no provision in the law to force the builder to give a guarantee for the structure,” a civic official from the building proposal department said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media. “At most, the developer verbally assures buyers that he will repair minor leakages and seepages for the first three years.”
State housing secretary, Gautam Chatterjee, said: “The government is already considering making a law for this but it has nothing to do with the civic resolution. We decided to make a law after complaints from citizens.”
Shiv Sena corporator from Bandra, advocate Manmohan Chonkar, who moved the resolution said: “We get a guarantee or warranty for refrigerators, television sets or cars. So I feel people, who pay lakhs or crores for a flat, should also get quality assurance.”
Chonkar said the developer should give a guarantee for leakages and cracks for at least 10 years and for 25 years for major damages to the building.
Jitendra Jain, managing director, Neev Group of Companies, said: “All developers give a guarantee of the structure’s stability for more than 50 years and a 10-year guarantee that there will be no leakages.”
There are 89 other resolutions from the BMC awaiting responses from the state’s urban development department.