GVMC should initiate a mechanism to redress the problems of apartment-dwellers, MLC from Graduates Constituency of North Coastal districts M.V.S. Sarma said.
Speaking at an awareness meeting organised by Visakhapatnam Apartment Residents’ Welfare Association (VARWA) here on Sunday, he said government and local bodies should come together to help run counselling centres to solve the problems of apartment residents.
Laws should be made to plug any loopholes in the existing ones and implement it, Mr. Sarma said.
On their part, residents’ associations should frame bylaws and register themselves and function actively. A voluntary, regulatory mechanism with should be in place with a collective spirit guiding them that would help resolve the growing problems, the MLC felt. VARWA would take up counselling on common issues like drainage. Recalling the struggle of VARWA in property tax and UGD issues, Mr. Sarma recalled that it was the pressure mounted in the municipal council by involving all the corporators that finally led to the government restricting the increase in property tax to 75 per cent. As many as 53,000 revision applications were filed, he recalled.
A Law professor of Andhra University Sumitra Sripada said living in apartments required a spirit of accommodation even as one asserted one rights. The Union Government has introduced Real Estate Regulation Bill that would lead to establishing Real Estate Regulatory Authority.
The Bill has provisions that made registration of builders and brokers and big real estate projects mandatory and proposed to put restrictions on advance payments.
Prof. Sumitra said the AP Apartments Act had laid down a number of rules giving rights to intending purchasers to ascertain the right of the builder on land to his responsibility to form residents’ association after handing over the flats. She answered a number of questions on builders not handing over documents, the functioning of residents’ associations, rights over terrace, among other things.
Architect Y. Narasimha Rao said design and maintenance would lead to retaining or increasing the value of asset.
He felt more thrust would be given to managing life rather than legal assertion.
Complimenting VARWA for doing good work in property tax and Building Penalisation Scheme (BPS), he suggested it should take up rating of buildings to give impetus to others and improve quality.
VARWA president Ch.L.N. Sastry said the association was involved in taking up problems of residents for eight years now and trying to improve conditions. Secretary A V Ramana Rao said VARWA was only an advisory body and would soon decentralise its functioning bringing into its fold 40 identified apartment clusters.
Praja Spandana president C.S. Rao announced a contribution of Rs.1,000 to VARWA. Vice-president G. Vijay Kumar participated.