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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Bengal Real Estate Regulatory Authority is operational

We welcome this long awaited development, says Credai Bengal president

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 18.12.22, 01:39 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File Photo.

The Bengal government has partially operationalised the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, which is aimed at protecting the interests of homebuyers and setting a benchmark in the housing sector.

Three members, headed by a former bureaucrat Sandipan Mukherjee, will run the show at Bengal RERA, adjudicating on the complaints from aggrieved homebuyers and registering new real estate projects, among others.

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Even though the members assumed charge from October 21, the function of the body was in abeyance as it was busy in preparatory work, especially in setting up the new website. “We have started taking up complaints from homebuyers offline. The website is functional but there are still some glitches which are being ironed out. Once fully ready, we will ask developers to register on our website online,” Mukherjee said this evening.

After the Supreme Court had struck down a state specific law — West Bengal Housing Industry Regulatory Authority (WBHIRA) (based on the model central RERA) — in May 2021, there was a regulatory void in the sector in Bengal. After the setback in the SC, the state notified RERA following all other Indian states in August 2021.

However, it took more than a year to appoint a chairman and members. In the absence of a functional RERA, neither the homebuyers had a place to seek redress nor the developers could register their projects before offering units for sale. However, several builders went ahead and launched projects seeing the inordinate delay.

Mukherjee on Saturday said the projects which were launched after HIRA was scrapped by the SC would now have to mandatorily apply before January 21.

Home buyers who had filed complaints before WBHIRA are also being urged to file their case afresh before the new authority. Realtors said they are looking forward to registering their projects with the new authority.

“We welcome this long awaited development. It is good for the buyers and developers as well. We will now register our projects with RERA, ” Nandu Belani, president of Credai Bengal, a body of real estate builders, said.

The RERA bill was passed by Parliament in 2016 to protect homebuyers, bringing transparency and accountability in the real estate sector. States thereafter formed their own rules and regulations based on the model central law. Bengal, however, framed its own law which was passed by the state Assembly. In 2021, the SC struck down the law terming it as unconstitutional.

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