Property buyers West Bengal at mercy of builders as RERA still not made functional

Property buyers West Bengal at mercy of builders as RERA still not made functional

Homebuyers' association FPCE on Sunday urged the West Bengal government to make the real estate law RERA functional in the state at the earliest to protect the consumers' interest. Supreme Court struck down the West Bengal government's law WBHIRA for regulating the real estate sector, saying it was "unconstitutional".

state government introduced West Bengal Housing Industry Regulatory Act (WBHIRA) as a substitute for the central law RERA, which was passed by Parliament in 2016. The apex court's ruling came on a plea filed by the Forum For People's Collective Efforts (FPCE), an umbrella body of homebuyers.

"Since then we have been making an all-out effort to ensure that RERA becomes fully functional in West Bengal but very sadly, despite all our efforts including approaching the Chief Minister, RERA is still not functional in West Bengal," Upadhyay rued.

He pointed out that 'West Bengal Real Estate Regulatory Authority' and 'West Bengal Real Estate Appellate Tribunal' have not been made functional in the state.

Also, Upadhyay said the appointment of chairperson and members of the regulatory authority as well as the Appellate Tribunal has not been done. The situation has allowed builders to escape the regulatory framework, compromising with transparency and accountability as envisaged under RERA, the FPCE President said.

"While the homebuyers of other states in India have the protection of RERA, homebuyers of West Bengal continue to suffer at the hands of builders for no fault of theirs," he observed. The association said that the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has taken up the issue of the implementation of RERA in West Bengal.

In the case of the state of West Bengal, FPCE said a delegation led by Economic Advisor (housing), MoHUA, Dinesh Kapila along with FPCE representative, its President Abhay Upadhyay and member FPCE Ratul Majumdar met the Additional Chief Secretary, Housing Department, Government of West Bengal on 8th September 2022."In the said meeting, it was stated by the additional chief secretary, housing that rules under RERA have already been notified and soon the chairperson and members of WB RERA will be appointed," the FPCE said.

However, the FPCE said that the Real Estate Regulatory Authority is not yet functional in the state of West Bengal.In absence of a functional regulatory authority, the association pointed out that builders are launching, advertising, and selling without registration of projects in west Bengal which is a clear violation of section 3 of RERA.

"There is no check if 70 per cent of the money realized from home buyers is being deposited in separate bank accounts as mandated under section 4 of RERA," it said.

Homebuyers have no grievance redressal mechanism against unscrupulous builders and they are hence being mercilessly exploited, the association said.

By LNN (Liyaans News Network)