Moneycontrol
Jun 05, 2017 04:46 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

RERA silent on environment norms; no solution to delayed clearances

The Act also does not offer any solution to project delays on account of authorities delaying environment paper work or any penalties on such authorities.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which mandates builders to obtain a host of clearances before launch of projects, is strangely silent on environment issues. The Act also does not offer any solution to project delays on account of authorities delaying environment paper work or any penalties on such authorities.

The Act barely mentions that the regulatory authority “shall in order to facilitate the growth and promotion of a healthy, transparent, efficient and competitive real estate sector make recommendations to the appropriate government of the competent authority, as the case may be, on measures to encourage construction of environmentally sustainable and affordable housing, promoting standardisation and use of appropriate construction materials, fixtures, fittings and construction techniques".

While it is mandatory in some states for real estate developers to get clearance for coastal regulatory zones, others have to get proper certifications in case they are located close to a forest or for that matter a bird sanctuary.

Dr Prem C Jain, Chairman, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), says that RERA is silent on anything to do with the environment. “It is unfortunate that it mentions nothing about green buildings. But I do not see (this) as a big problem because it is ultimately the state authorities who have to implement the rules and we are in any case working with the municipalities and the states."

The reason for this, say experts, is because environment-related issues in general are covered by other laws such as the Environment Protection Act, Air Pollution Act or for that matter the Water Pollution Act. RERA does not include directions on environment procedures because these guidelines are part of the Master Plan document as well as the building byelaws.

“Matters regarding compliance and violation under these laws are already administered by specified bodies,” says Abhay Upadhayay, Convenor, FightforRERA.

RERA is a legislation for the benefit of consumers. "It provides the promoter has to take applicable approvals and disclose the same in the interest of transparency and does not prescribe any new approvals etc. RERA does not delve into what all approvals are required so that approvals etc. are left to be dealt with by the concerned authorities," says Akshat Pande, Partner, Alpha Partners.

Dr Chandrashekar Hariharan, Executive Chairman and Co-founder of BCIL ZED Homes, Biodiversity Conservation India (BCIL), also says that the legislation only seeks to offer a commercial framework.
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