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dna exclusive: Housing Bill in limbo, buyers stay vulnerable

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 - 7:13am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

State blames Centre, says Bill hasn't got nod despite clarifying all issues raised.

The ambitious Maharashtra Housing (Regulations and Development) Bill is stuck between the central and state governments. As a result, buyers continue to remain vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous developers and illegal construction is going on mushrooming in the state.

As per highly-placed sources in Mantrayala, the central government has sent the bill back to the state government, asking that the loopholes in it be addressed.

“After resolving the issues pertaining to the bill, the state can send it again to the central housing department for its approval. Only then will president Pranab Mukherjee give his ascent. Till date, there is no act or norms in place to control the malpractices in the real estate sector,” a source said.

The state had approved the bill in August 2012.

Housing activist Ramesh Prabhu said the central government should not hold back the bill on flimsy grounds. “It should be approved immediately in the interests of the consumers,” he added.

Another housing activist said this delay is a perfect example of the governments’ indecisiveness.

“Because of this, they (Congress party) lost the assembly elections in four states. They should pay serious attention to public interest issues at least. Otherwise, in 2014 parliamentary elections, they will face the same result as the assembly elections,” he said.

Refusing to take any blame, the state housing department has put the onus on the central home and housing departments. “This is a rare occasion that a bill has been sent back to the state.

Earlier, nearly every bill we forwarded to the central government was approved immediately,” said a senior official from the state housing department.

He added they have clarified the issues raised regarding the bill. “Even chief minister Prithviraj Chavan wrote to the central home and housing departments, citing the urgency of the bill by giving the example of the illegal buildings at Campa Cola Compound in Worli and explaining how the bill will help control illegal construction in state. We are serious, but not the central authority,” he said.

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