The state government has decided to implement the Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and Development) Act (HRA) from mid-July. The housing regulatory bill received the President's nod in January this year.
The law was passed by the legislature last year despite resistance from builders who felt that under the guise of regulating the real estate industry, the government was trying to control it. Maharashtra is the first state in the country to usher in a law to deal with the real estate business.
Shrikant Pulkunder, joint secretary of the housing department, told dna on Wednesday that the government was currently in the process of framing rules and regulations under the new law.
"Once the rules are framed, we will invite suggestions and objections from the public. This process will take at least a month. After that, we will announce the date on which the law will come into force," Anand Gupta, secretary of the Builders' Association of India, said.
He said the government should first improve the civic infrastructure, expedite the procedure for approval of building plans and curb corruption in the building proposals department and not seek to control the builders.
Another official from the housing department said the implementation of the law got delayed as the election code of conduct was in force. "We are planning to implement the law by June-end. But, now it will come into force in mid-July," he added.
"The regulatory authority to be set up under this Act will address different issues relating to the real estate sector. It will now be mandatory for developers to register themselves in the HRA's website. Besides, developers have to upload the building plans which have been approved by the municipal body concerned and also details of the flats sold. There will be transparency since potential buyers will come to know if there have been any problem with a particular project. The scope to dupe buyers will be reduced considerably," a senior official stated, adding that "buyers will be able to see which flat is sold out or not. It will bring transparency." Another official said the main objective of the regulatory body is to regulate and promote the construction, sale, management and transfer of flats on ownership basis.
"Once the Act comes into force, flat-buyers will be empowered. A buyer can complain to the HRA against the builder concerned and the authority take action against him expeditiously. Presently, there is no control over the developers. Many of them exploit gullible buyers by using technical terms like build up area, super build up area, floor rise etc. It is a game changer of an Act in the housing sector. It will help in curbing speculative activities and keep prices under check," said Atul Nemade, a real estate expert.
The housing regulatory authority will be headed by a retired bureaucrat. The condition is that s/he must have worked with the state's housing and urban development departments or should have the knowledge of development planning and development control rules. In Mumbai, the office of the housing regulator will be located at Bandra in Mhada's office building.