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Modi govt gives up on plan to stop HIRA, Mamata's version of RERA

Homebuyers say this will set a precedent for other states and make RERA redundant

A sub-committee of the Central Advisory Council (CAC), that was to persuade West Bengal into adopting central Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) instead of its own state legislation will no longer be formed, a tweet from the Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry suggests.

"Sub-committee was not formed because West Bengal government has notified its own similar act by name of Housing & Industrial Regulation Act (HIRA) & has notified rules thereunder," the tweet said.

Having Central & State acts on the same subject is under examination. Sub-committee under these circumstances will serve no purpose, it said.

Homebuyers are against the move as they fear that this would set a precedent for other states to follow and make RERA redundant.

“If West Bengal goes through its own model, you are throwing open the doors for other states to follow suit. Other states may be encouraged to adopt their own legislations with major dilutions and that will make the Central RERA redundant in years to come. We will then go back to the pre RERA era. We urge the Central government to reconsider their decision and go ahead and notify the sub-committee constituted in the CAC meeting since there is all the more need to persuade West Bengal government to adopt RERA,” said Abhay Upadhyay, President Forum for People’s Collective Efforts and National Convenor of Fight for RERA.

The Centre had decided to send a team to urge the West Bengal government, to switch over to RERA to protect homebuyers’ interest. It had set up the sub-committee on May 14 comprising Upadhyay, Niranjan Hiranandani, president NAREDCO, Lt Gen (Retd) S K Bahri, Chairman, Federation of Apartment Owners Association and Gautam Chatterjee, Chairman, Maharashtra RERA for dealing with the states on RERA related issues.

Union Housing and Urban Affairs (HUA) Secretary Durga Shanker Mishra will interact via video-conference with representatives of states and union territories on July 17 for "expediting compliances" of the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) 2016, the ministry tweeted.

The ministry said in his tweet that subsequent to a CAC meeting, Mishra wrote to all states and UTs to ensure compliance with various provisions of the RERA such as notification of rules, instituting regulatory authority and appellate tribunal, and making websites operational.

"There is significant progress on this count. @Secretary_MoHUA will be holding a video conference with all States/UTs on 17th July 2018 for expediting compliances (sic)," the ministry tweeted.

Experts have cited two major dilutions in key provisions of the RERA in HIRA, which was notified on June 1. The first is ‘force majeure’ or unforeseen circumstances that prevent a builder from fulfilling his obligations. The RERA has clearly stated the circumstances: war, flood, drought, fire, cyclone, earthquake or any other natural calamity. HIRA makes a significant addition to the clause ‘or any other circumstances as may be prescribed’.

The second deviation is for garages. The RERA clearly states it needs to have a roof and walls on three sides for parking but does not include unenclosed or uncovered parking space. However, HIRA has removed the clause altogether and defined garage as any parking space sanctioned by the government authority.
First Published on Jul 13, 2018 08:20 pm
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