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Housing authority bill likely to be delayed

mumbai Updated: Jul 13, 2011 01:54 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times
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The much awaited Maharashtra Housing Regulatory Authority Bill, which seeks to protect homebuyers from unscrupulous builders, is likely to be delayed.

The state government had recently announced that it intended to pass the bill in the coming monsoon session.

This, however, seems unlikely, as the bill has not yet been presented before the state cabinet. The cabinet approval is a pre-requisite for the passage of the bill.

A senior minister, who does not wish to be named, told HT: "The State did not do its homework. The cabinet ministers will not allow such a crucial bill to be passed hurriedly," said the minister.

The regulatory bill, based on the draft provided by the central government, aims to streamline the working of the realty industry. It focuses on various issues, like registration of builders and disclosures of projects.

It also mandates that builders give details of projects and time required for completion, failing which they can be penalised.

The builders' community has been very critical of the bill and their opposition could likely become one more factor delaying the project. We have no problem with the regulator but even the authorities should be made accountable," said Sunil Mantri, Former President, Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry (MCHI).

He said that state should fast track permissions so that projects are completed on time.

However, housing activists are not amused by the delay and have said that a nexus of the State and builders is responsible for it. "Every sector like stock markets and telecom have benefited by the regulator but the builders do not want to be accountable," said Shreedhar Sharma, President, Ravathy Foundation which works on housing issues.

"The state is not interested in the welfare of flat buyers and are just playing in the hands of the builders," he added.