Home buyers at the receiving end of builders’ whims will welcome the state government’s move to form a Housing Regulatory body in March next year to bring about transparency in the real estate market.
After delaying it for more than a year, apparently due to pressure from the influential builders’ lobby, the state government is all set to appoint a regulator.
“The resistance from builders has decreased considerably in recent times and we feel it is the right time to bring in a regulator,” said Sachin Ahir, minister of state for housing. “It will benefit consumers, while punishing the errant builders,” he added.
A delegation of officials from the central ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation, last week, had pointed out the delay in introducing this body in the state.
The state has now delegated the task of vetting the draft of the Model Real Estate (Regulation of Development) Act circulated by the central government to state housing secretary Gautam Chatterjee.
Chatterjee, who is an authority in the housing sector and responsible for implementing several low cost housing schemes, would incorporate several changes and present it before the state government.
Points in the draft include registration of builders, separate bank guarantee for each project along with an undertaking to complete the project as specified in the registration documents. There are also provisions to blacklist as well as cancel registration and arrest errant builders.
Housing activists have welcomed the move. “The haphazard development in the city is due to the lack of regulation and this body will bring about a sea change,” said advocate Vinod Sampat, noted housing activist. He cites the example of the stock market and the telecom sector, which have largely benefited by the presence of a regulator.
However, builders have been lukewarm in the response. “We have no problem with the state weeding out errant builders but our problem is that it should not encourage red-tapism, further delaying our projects,” said Rajesh Vardhan, managing director, Vardhaman Builders.