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Vigilance wing in RERA Karnataka in the pipeline
The Hindu, December 05, 2018

Could have police personnel on deputation to implement orders of the authority

With complaints pouring in from home buyers of errant developers and builders refusing to adhere to orders from the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Karnataka, the authority has proposed addition of a vigilance wing.

Ravishankar J., interim Chairman, RERA Karnataka told The Hindu that home buyers had raised the issue of orders of the adjudicating officers not being implemented by builders. “We have now proposed a vigilance wing to be brought in, which will have police powers. We will have police personnel on deputation. If there is any reluctance to implement the orders, they will step in,” he said.

Home buyers who had approached RERA Karnataka seeking intervention in problems such as a delay in handover over the past year since the RERA Act came into force have complained of builders not paying a penalty or handing over property despite orders being given in their favour.

A case in point is of a private firm employee who was promised possession of his flat in September 2017. He approached RERA Karnataka in November 2017. An order passed in March 2018 directed the builder to hand over the property in June 2018, which was ignored. “I have finally received possession of the flat in November, but there are a lot of quality issues. A delay compensation of ?50,000 was announced up to June, but as there was further delay, the court is yet to fix a compensation,” said the home buyer.

Permanent RERA Authority

Another long-pending demand has been appointment of a permanent RERA authority. Mr. Ravishankar said applications had already been called for the post, as well as for the appellate authority, and the last date for the same is December 15.

The agreement of sale specified in the Act, on the other hand, is expected to be brought before the cabinet soon.

The interim Chairman also said he will hold a discussion with home buyers, developers and builders next week.

Home buyers want effective enforcement of RERA

Over a year after protesting against the delay in implementing the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act, 2016 in Karnataka, home buyers are coming together to seek effective implementation of the Act in the State, as well as better redressal of related issues.

M.S. Shankar from the Forum for People's Collective Efforts, Karnataka Chapter (formerly Fight for Rera), which is organising the protest on Saturday, said over 500 people are expected to participate. “These people have bought apartments and plots. The first time we organised such a protest was in July 2017 seeking implementation of the RERA Act in Karnataka. This time, we are seeking enforcement and implementation of the Act in its true spirit. In addition, we are also representing other citizen concerns such as builders abruptly handing over maintenance to apartment associations,” he said.

Among the concerns are the time taken to dispose cases. “As per the Consumer Protection Act, cases have to disposed within 60 days, but it is taking years. Under the RERA Act too, it is supposed to take 60 days, but now it is taking up to six months,” said Mr. Shankar.

They want removal of ‘dilutions’ of the Act under the Karnataka RERA Rules, appointment of full-time members to Karnataka RERA Authority and Karnataka RERA Tribunal, bringing all unregistered ongoing projects without Occupancy Certificate under RERA, redressal of complaints within the stipulated time frame by increasing the number of adjudicating officers, and framing of proper regulations for handling complaints, and judgements as per the provisions of RERA Act.

They are also seeking a proper dispute redressal mechanism for dealing with projects without Occupancy Certificate or official Completion Certificate, and not getting original documents from the promoters and land-owners.

The reason for the protest, he said, was because the voice of home buyers was not being heard. “We have given a lot of representations on citizens’ concerns, but nobody is listening,” Mr. Shankar added.

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