Maha govt to appoint multiple housing regulators

WITH complaints from flat buyers against unfair practices by real estate firms piling up from across the state, a proposal to appoint multiple housing regulators is now under consideration, sources said. At last count, about 37,000 such cases were pending in the consumer redressal forum, official data shows. Mumbai, the country’s real estate capital, alone accounts for over 15,000 of such cases.

Anticipating that a single housing regulator will be overburdened, a proposal to appointing multiple region-wise regulators is being considered, a senior government functionary said. According to the plan, Mumbai may get its own housing regulator. There could be another one for the rest of the Konkan belt including Mumbai’s satellite cities Thane and Navi Mumbai. Similarly, for housing matter pertaining to cities in Western Maharashtra, a separate regulator could function out of Pune. One more may be based in Nagpur to handle cases emerging out of the Vidarbha and Marathwada belts.

After the Centre’s Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016, came into being on May 1, the state government is in the process of making rules and putting the institutional infrastructure to protect the interest of home buyers. A senior minister said the first batch of rules, dealing with the manpower and infrastructure requirements, is ready and will soon be finalised.

The housing department is drafting the rules for the Act’s implementation. The government is targeting October 31 as the date for setting in place the regulatory mechanism provided for in the Central Act. While the Central legislation provides for constitution of an ad hoc or interim regulatory authority, the Maharashtra government continues to be uncertain about appointing it.

Sources said the Chief Minister’s Office had earlier proposed former Additional Chief Secretary (retired) Gautam Chatterjee’s name for the interim arrangement, but the law department has raised some queries in this regard. The department has said the Central Act permits only the serving officer to be appointed to the post.

Credits Indian Express

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