There’s good news for home buyers: the Karnataka government, coming under pressure from various quarters, has decided to notify the final rules of the much-awaited Karnataka Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2017 by April 30, to bring the unregulated real estate sector under its domain.
At the interaction on Tuesday with various stakeholders, including home buyers and realtors, Karnataka housing secretary Kapil Mohan promised to implement the Act from May 1, and allayed apprehensions raised by home buyers over the possible dilution of rules to favour certain sections of developers, including politicians.
Mohan also promised not to tamper with the fundamental rule that all ongoing projects are to be covered under RERA, once it is implemented from next month.
MS Shankar, head of the Karnataka chapter of Fight for RERA, an organization of home buyers, NGOs, welfare associations, federations and activists, said the meeting lasted over two hours and Mohan promised they would implement the central law in letter and spirit to curb unscrupulous elements in the real estate business.
“We were quite ecstatic as Mohan reacted positively to all our suggestions, and kept assuring us that the Act would be implemented in toto. However, we will keep our fingers crossed till the final rules are made public,” he added.
One of the prominent suggestions made by Fight for RERA was to appoint retired IAS officer Shambhu Dayal Meena as head of the Karnataka real estate regulatory authority, which is mandatory, according to RERA. The authority will deal with erring builders and protect the interests of buyers who often complain of delays and cost overruns. Meena, who was principal secretary of the housing department and and retired in March, had played a vital role in the preparation of the Karnataka RERA draft rules.
“He (Meena) is an expert on RERA as he has been working on it for a long time. So we felt he would qualify to head the authority and suggested his name. But Mohan said he can’t take such a decision and it is for the government to decide who should head the authority,” Shankar said.
Namma Bengaluru Foundation also submitted a separate petition to Mohan to make RERA rules more stringent, and requested him not to drop or dilute any rules under pressure from developers. Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation, said, “Home buyers are the most vulnerable in the present situation. They are caught between EMIs from banks and excuses from builders on getting possession of their dream home. The final rules will be a test of this government’s commitment to citizens. We hope they don’t end up favouring builders again.”