Housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri has refrained from commenting on the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act (HIRA) that was notified by the state on June 1.
“I need to see the text of the West Bengal Act, the language of what they have put out. If this conforms to the language of RERA, that is one situation. If not, it is a different situation and we will have to deal with it. But I don’t want to comment on it till I have seen the text,” he told Moneycontrol in an exclusive interview.
According to Abhay Upadhyay, president of the Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), HIRA defeats the very purpose of Central RERA. “The first is to do with the force majeure clause or unforeseen circumstances under which a builder may not fulfil conditions laid down under the contract signed with the homebuyers. RERA clearly lays down the circumstances of force majeure such as war, flood, drought, fire, cyclone, earthquake or any other natural calamity. HIRA has made an addition to this clause and talks about ‘…any other circumstances as may be prescribed’. This is a major dilution.”
Sale of open space as a garage or parking area was an issue dealt under RERA. HIRA has interpreted it differently. RERA defines garage to mean a place within a project that has a roof and walls on three sides for parking any vehicle but it does not include unenclosed or uncovered parking area, especially open parking.
HIRA, on the other hand, states that car parking area means such an area as may be prescribed and defined garage to mean garage and parking space as sanctioned by the competent authority.
West Bengal is the only state in the country that has not accepted RERA. The Central Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) came into effect on May 1, 2017, exactly a year after it was passed by the Parliament.