PUNE: Consumer bodies are worried over the possibility of smaller projects being exempted from the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) and an association has raised the issue with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
With Rera coming into effect from May 1 and the final rules to be out in the public domain within a few days, the association has expressed concern with a provision that, it fears, may give leeway to the smaller projects.
The Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) has said while section 3 of Rera makes registration of real estate projects mandatory, section 3(2) exempts projects when an area of land proposed to be developed does not exceed 500 sq m or the number of apartments does not exceed 8.
The proviso to this exemption under section 3(2) (a) enables and empowers the state governments to reduce the threshold below 500 sq m or 8 apartments, it said.
“It is our earnest request to the chief minister to invoke the proviso to sec 3 (2) (a) and reduce the threshold exemption from 500 sq m to 100 sq m and the number of apartments from 8 to 2,” advocate Shrish Deshpande said in a letter to Fadnavis on behalf of MGP on April 13.
He said if the threshold of 500 sq m or 8 apartments is not reduced as provided under RERA, the MGP is certain that the exemption limit is bound to be grossly misused by “unscrupulous builders to escape the clutches of Rera and they will be free to exploit, cheat and fleece home buyers”.
“In order to take undue advantages of the exemption limit, the builders might split their project of, for example, 2,000 sq m into 4 projects of little less than 500 sq m each. This is bound to happen, particularly where the builders promote and develop bungalows or row houses. It will thus defeat the purpose of Rera,” said Deshpande, who is also the chairman of the MGP.
The organisation also expressed concern that a developer working on a plot less than 500 sq m in size may be a small time builder and the possibility of deception and fraud is more likely in such a case.
The consumer association has in the letter also pointed out that the Maharashtra Housing Act, 2014 (which stands repealed with the passage of Rera) had covered all real estate projects with a land area of 250 sq m or more for mandatory registration.
“The least the government can do is that the exemption limit under the proviso to section 3(2) (a) is reduced to at least 250 sq m or 4 apartments,” it said.
The national body of real estate developers has, on the other hand, expressed concern over another issue.
Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India national president elect Satish Magar told TOI that documents of development projects should be put in public view only for the interested customers and the regulatory authority and not for the common public as it could lead to negative activism or even extortion.
A letter in this regard has been forwarded to the chief minister’s office before the Rera rules are made public.
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/smaller-projects-a-major-worry-for-consumer-body/articleshow/58187049.cms