As the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Authority Act completes one year of implementation, the biggest challenge is to keep the builders compliant of the law, said Maharashtra Rera Chairman Gautam Chatterjee.
Maharashtra was the first state to implement the Act in the country from May 1, 2017.
“Being the first state to implement the Rera Act, there is certainly a feeling of satisfaction as we complete a successful maiden year. But at the same time, there are many areas of concern which we will have to address such as ensuring that builders who have become compliant of the laws remain compliant,” Chatterjee said.
He said challenges the Act poses are quite serious, which all the stakeholders will have to deal with.
“The initial task before me was to get the projects languishing for years for whatever reasons, registered. Since the Act is confined to only those projects which are registered with the authority, it was necessary to communicate with all the stakeholders,” recalls Chatterjee.
Nearly 13,000 projects were registered since May 1 last and almost 11,000 of them came online in the first 90 days itself.
“Today there’s satisfaction that builders are compliant with the provisions of the law, which is one of the fundamental principles of this Act and also a major challenge for us.
“But this satisfaction leads to further challenges. As you get more projects into your fold, your workload goes up. We will now have to see that these projects get completed in the timelines mentioned, failing which there will be serious consequences, Chatterjee said.
Of the 13,000 projects registered with the authority, nearly 8,000 were those which should have got completed before the Act came into force.
“We also need to ensure that the compliant behaviour on the part of the developer need be continued throughout the lifeline of the project,” the chairman added.
On the number of complaints received by the authority during the year, he says, “we received around 2,387 complaints of which over 2,000 appellants have completed the appeal process and around 1,200 cases were resolved”.
Maharashtra Rera, along with developers bodies such as the Naredco, Credai and MCHI and representatives of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, has formed MahaRera Conciliation and Disputes Resolution Forum as an alternate dispute resolution mechanism under the Act.
“The purpose of setting up this forum was to create a level-playing field where both the parties should be able to discuss and negotiate on terms equally, before coming to us. So, the basic objective was to rebuild trust between the buyer and the developer,” Chatterjee said.
The forum received nearly 130 applications and 45 of them were registered and 31 of them were resolved till April 15.
“Rera has not just addressed the issues of compliance and transparency, but it has also brought back consumer confidence. As projects are now registered, buyers can now make an informed choice. For any grievance, they have a quasi-judicial redressal platform,” he added.
When asked about the claims of certain developers that the number of launches have come down after the implementation of the Act, he said, “of the total 16,000 projects registered, 3,000 are new projects and this is not a small number. I think they needed some time to consolidate the ongoing projects before they launch new ones. So, I don’t think it has deterred the developers.”