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Structural safety of real estate projects, changes in RERA provisions to figure in upcoming CAC meeting

The meeting will also deliberate on the issue of constituting a committee for the resolution of legacy stalled projects

The Central Advisory Council (CAC) meeting scheduled for April 12 will discuss issues relating to the structural safety of real estate projects following an incident of partial roof collapse in Gurugram wherein two women were killed.

The meeting will also deliberate on constituting a committee for the resolution of legacy stalled projects and the issue of some states tweaking the provisions of RERA, while framing rules under the Act by exempting the registration of 'ongoing projects.'

The CAC, set up by the government for effective implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), will hold its third meeting on April 12. The first two meetings of the CAC were held on May 14, 2018, and April 29, 2020.

The council, chaired by Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, will consider measures like physical inspection of projects during construction and structural audit at regular intervals by reputed institutes.

“Recently, there have been reports of incidents related to structural safety in multistorey apartments. Though, RERA mandates the promoters to rectify the structural defects highlighted within a period of 5 years from the date of possession, some provisions related to structural safety may be deliberated to ensure further safety of high-rise buildings and to prevent loss of life and property.

"These provisions may include a physical inspection of projects during construction, Structural Audit by reputed institutes on regular intervals, declaration of Structural Safety by promoter before applying for completion or occupancy certificate, etc. Central Advisory Council may consider,” according to the agenda.

The committee may comprise representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, sector experts (dealing with stalled projects and insolvency proceedings) and give its recommendations to the central government within two months from the date of its constitution, the agenda said.

“Central government established the Alternative Investment Fund (AIF)- Special Window for Affordable and Mid-Income Housing Fund (SWAMIH) Investment Fund of Rs 25,000 crore to provide last mile funding for projects that are net-worth positive and registered under RERA, including those projects that have been declared as Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) or are pending proceedings before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC),” it said.

"As of February 14, 2022, 249 deals aggregating to ₹23,778 crore were approved which will benefit more than 1,46,946 homebuyers and unlock projects worth ₹66,163 crore,” it said.

It is evident that this fund has proved to be very instrumental in completing the legacy stalled projects and is fulfilling the dreams of homebuyers, who invested their life savings in these legacy stalled projects, which were launched before the enactment of RERA, it said.

The third meeting of the CAC will also discuss the issue of tweaking RERA provisions by some states. The CAC agenda noted that all states/UTs have notified rules under RERA except Nagaland, which is in the process to notify the rules.

As many as 31 states/UTs have set up Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Regular-25, Interim-06). States like Meghalaya, Sikkim, West Bengal, and UT of Ladakh are yet to establish authority.

In the agenda, it was pointed out that some states have tweaked the provisions of RERA while framing rules under the Act by exempting the registration of 'ongoing projects. The matter was taken up by the housing ministry on several occasions and through various communications.

The CAC in its first meeting deliberated upon the issue of dilution by the states while framing rules under the Act. As decided in the meeting, the ministry has taken up the matter through various communications.

Homebuyers’ body Forum for People's Collective Efforts (FPCE) president Abhay Upadhyay said in a statement that the agenda for the upcoming CAC meeting shows that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is serious and keen to address all major concerns not only in the implementation of RERA but also in providing resolution for incomplete legacy stalled projects started before RERA came into force.

“We have been raising the issue of dilution in RERA Rules by the states due to which many incomplete projects were left out of the ambit of RERA and also that RERA Authorities are unable to enforce their own orders due to which RERA orders became nothing more than a piece of paper.

"The recent incident of poor construction quality leading to loss of lives will also be part of the discussion,” Upadhyay said.

The proposal to form a committee under the Chairmanship of CEO,  NITI Ayog is also welcome and shows that the government is keen to ensure the completion of remaining incomplete stalled legacy projects, he said.

“We have also come to know that the Ministry has accepted our suggestion to live stream the proceedings of the CAC meeting on social media platforms to ensure complete transparency,” Upadhyay added.

Vandana Ramnani
Vandana Ramnani
first published: Mar 30, 2022 08:19 pm