Month on, Punjab RERA chief post remains vacant - Hindustan Times
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Month on, Punjab RERA chief post remains vacant

By, Mohali
Mar 05, 2024 09:58 AM IST

Of the pending projects awaiting approval, Mohali district accounts for almost half, with 82 pending cases

The Punjab Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has been operating without a chairperson for nearly a month, resulting in a backlog of 182 real estate projects. Of these projects awaiting approval, Mohali district accounts for almost half, with 82 pending cases. Additionally, the position of RERA member secretary has been vacant since January 7.

As many as 182 files on real estate works await a nod in Punjab RERA chief’s absence. (HT File)
As many as 182 files on real estate works await a nod in Punjab RERA chief’s absence. (HT File)

RERA came into force in Punjab in May 2017 to safeguard consumer interests in the real estate sector and foster transparency and accountability between buyers and developers.

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Former RERA chairperson Satya Gopal resigned from his post on February 8. Having joined in December 2022, he served for approximately one year before stepping down. Apart from the chairperson, one member secretary position remains unfilled, leaving only one member currently serving in Punjab.

Many developers say that their files have been gathering dust in the RERA office for over a year. A leading developer from Mohali, who did not wish to be named, said, “For the past year, I have been visiting the RERA office to get a registration number, but in vain. There has been an inordinate delay in getting RERA licences for many housing projects. The absence of a regulatory authority has led to non-payment of dues such as external development charges by the realtors to the housing department in the government.”

A RERA officer, requesting anonymity, said, “Unlike other states, the Punjab RERA does not have executives or recovery officers to ensure builders’ compliance with RERA orders and payment of penalties.”

Punjab Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) president Jagjit Singh Majha said, “We have requested the state government to appoint an active chairperson and member secretary as in their absence is having a detrimental impact on the real estate sector.”

Zirakpur Builders Association president Harish Gupta also echoed Majha’s concerns: “The absence of an effective regulatory authority has caused a large number of illegal colonies to mushroom in Mohali district. We request the authorities to appoint a chairperson and member secretary immediately, and set a deadline for clearing the pending cases,” he said.

Chief secretary-cum-administrative secretary of housing and urban development, Punjab, Anurag Verma, said applications have been received for the post of member secretary and will be sent to authorities concerned for approval. “For the chairperson’s post, we will write to the Punjab and Haryana high court for allowing us to invite applications. We are hopeful that it will be done soon,” he added.

Mohali, including its peripheral areas of Zirakpur, Kharar, and New Chandigarh (Mullanpur), has experienced significant development over the past decade. With approximately 600 residential and commercial projects, the region has become a prominent real estate destination, particularly with the ongoing Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA)-led IT City and Aero City projects on the Airport Road.

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