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States » South

RERA yet to be operational in Kerala

By K P Pushparaj
Kozhikode, Jun 13 (UNI) Kerala is yet to implement and make the Real Estate Regulatory Authority effective in the state.
The Central rule had come into force more than two years ago and almost all the states have notified as well as made the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act 2016 operational,
Coming into effect on May 1, 2017, the law is aimed to eliminate the horde of malpractices and unlawful constructions and the like, resulting in irreparable damages to the consumers. The reformatory law, shortened as RERA, is to be adopted by each state, with regional specifications and modifications, but founded by and large on the parent Act.
The Act, which provides protection to home buyers, was cleared by Parliament and states were given powers to notify their respective rules and appoint regulatory authorities. Each state is to form the authority with a chairman and two members, who will be appointed by a panel headed by the high court judge or his or her nominee.
Though Kerala had notified RERA rules and appointed a regulator in 2017, it was repealed through an Ordinance, citing dilution of the Central Act. But, yet, a year-and-a-half has gone with no structured format or regulators appointed or publishing the rules in a portal by the State Government.
National perspective
According to the Ministry of Urban Affairs, as many as 28 states and union territories have notified the RERA with 20 states and UTs establishing real estate appellate tribunals.
Now, for Kerala, there is a long way to go as to notify the amended rules, appoint a chairman and two members, establish a tribunal, publish the rules in a portal (for the convenience and awareness of the home buyers). The formalities, including the notification and follow-up procedure of the Act is yet to be done, Mr Nagendran, deputy secretary, Local Self Government, Thiruvananthapuram told UNI.
The RERA, where it is operational, has effectively implemented a legal discipline and procedural adherence to the realty sector finding a resolution for the home buyers who would be largely protected against dubious or illegal constructions elsewhere in other parts of the country where the Act has been made operational.
Kerala consumers suffer
It was the illegal route and malpractices by the developers and authorities who permitted the construction of the five flats complexes that has made the fate of about 2,000 flat owners in and around Maradu in Kochi hang in the balance.
With the flats costing nearly or more than a crore of Rupees, thousands are likely not only to become homeless but suffer huge monetary loss. Now, the flat owners have approached the Supreme Court to set aside its May verdict to demolish the five flat complexes for violation of coastal zone rules among others.
Illegal constructions were part and parcel of the realty industry and continue to be so across Kerala with or without knowledge of the buyers. The nexus between the builders and the officials of the local bodies, make things work out in favour of the developer.
However, as the rule goes – let the buyer beware, the legal protection remains as a Damocles sword on their heads. The construction legalities apart, the other specifications that were published in the project brochures also get violated by many a builder leaving the purchaser suffer for life.
Enactment and the effective operation of RERA would be a big game changer in the realty sector, for the home buyers would largely be protected with the strong legalities laid down in the Act. Now, the ball is in the State Government’s court.
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