Real estate regulator still a distant dream in Uttar Pradesh
Nine years after it was conceived, the realty law, which became operational all over the country from Monday, continues to be a still born baby in Uttar Pradesh.
UP notified the rules meant to protect homebuyers from dodgy developers in October, 2015, but it is yet to set up a regulator and appoint staff required to make Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) functional.
The ball to recruit a full-time regulator or chairman RERA was set rolling in October 2016 by the then Samajwadi Party regime. But the exercise was shelved mid-way. Reason: if sources are to be believed, the top-runner – a senior IAS officer being backed by the then regime for the plum post – had a police case pending against him, a condition that disqualified him from holding the office. “We had put out a public notice on October 28 inviting applications from candidates for the posts of members (three) and chairman, RERA,” said a senior housing department official.
With emoluments and perks equivalent to that of a chief secretary, candidates from private sector applying for the post of chairman were required to possess at least 20 years’ experience in urban development, housing, real estate development, infrastructure and economics. In case of a government employee, the applicant should have served as additional secretary at the Centre or on equivalent post in the state government.
“We received 15 applications from senior IAS officers, both serving and retired for the post (chairman, RERA),” said the official. The aspirants who applied included several serving principal secretaries and secretaries. The candidates were short-listed and the name of the senior most former IAS officer was finalized and recommended to the appointment panel headed by chief justice of the Allahabad High Court with principle secretary, housing and law as its members. “But it was suggested by the panel that the aspirants for the posts of members (three) and chairman, RERA, should be asked to furnish an affidavit that they have no criminal or other cases pending or registered against them,” said the official.
Since the caveat disqualified the government-backed ‘babu’ , who had a case pending against him, the whole appointment exercise was shelved, said the official.
Principal secretary, housing, Sadakant did not respond to repeated phone calls and SMS from HT to get his version on the issue. Sources, however, confirmed that formalities were being worked out to start the recruitment process afresh soon.