Bid to bring in transparency, competitiveness in sector

The State government is planning to constitute a real estate regulatory authority to monitor and guide builders and developers, in terms of land development and construction and maintenance of buildings.

Official sources told The Hindu here that the draft Act for constituting the authority had been modelled on the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Act of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

The draft Act, drawn up by the State, had adopted a more comprehensive approach including provisions of the Apartment Ownership Act, 1983, which had remained redundant over the years. The authority would initiate steps for the growth and promotion of a healthy, transparent, efficient, and competitive real estate market and would evolve a consensus among the State government, urban local bodies, and stakeholders to mandatorily follow the provisions of the building rules.

The authority, once constituted, would be for a tenure of three years. It would comprise a chairperson and two members. They would have expertise in public administration, urban development, finance, law, and management. If the government decided to appoint a retired official as chairman, only a person who had held the post of Principal Secretary could be selected.

The authority would make recommendations on protection of interest of the ‘allottees,' measures to improve the processes and procedures for clearance and sanction of building plans, and construction and maintenance of structurally safe, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective buildings and properties.

It would establish a framework of standard procedures and norms for speedy processing of building approvals and licences by civic bodies for projects proposed to be taken up by promoters and builders. The authority would have the powers to settle disputes between promoters and ‘allottees.' It could seek explanations from promoters and scrutinise their accounts.

Setting up of a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal with the powers of a civil court to adjudicate disputes related to the sector had also been mooted. The tribunal would consist of a chairperson and two members. The State government or any person aggrieved by any direction of the authority can go on appeal to the tribunal. An order passed by the tribunal will be executed as a decree of the civil court. The draft Act, being worked on by the Law Department, will come up before the Cabinet soon, sources said.