Imagine miseries of buyers who might have taken possession of ‘FLATS’ from promoters even after 2016
It is not out of place to mention here that before 2016 the Government of India had been receiving complaints from the individual flat/apartment / plot buyers that real estate transactions were going on unequal footings more in favour of/ to the choice of developers / promoters and hence the Government aiming at creating environment for equitable and fair transactions between the seller and the buyer of properties came up with an bill, for installation of Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) for making real estate purchases secure through transparency and accountability, that was introduced in Rajya Sabha ( passed on the 10 March, 2016) , passed by Lok Sabha on the 15 March, 2016 and came in force on 1 May 2016 in the form of The Real Estate (Regulation And Development) Act, 2016, Act No : 16 of 2016 where Section-20 Sub Section-1 lays down that The appropriate Government shall, within a period of one year from the date of coming into force of this Act, by notification, establish an Authority to be known as the Real Estate Regulatory Authority to exercise the powers conferred on it and to perform the functions assigned to it under this Act.
But in response to a request made on JK Grievance cell (awazaawam.uniso.in/ AwazAAwam/ index.aspx) on 16-12-2022 G. No 999001268968 / on 02-01-2023 / 999003861258 /on 27-04-2023/Grievance 999001268975 / on 30-04-2023 Grievance 999003867993 about status of J&K Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) / joining of Parimal Rai IAS ( Retd) as Chairman of RERA it has been only on 25th May 2023 that the JK Grievance portal finally disclosed the present status with the reference of Housing & Urban Development Department as (” Vide Notification No 357 dated 01.08.2022 Primal Rai, IAS (Retd) was appointed as Chairman RERA. However, because of some personal reasons the Officer submitted his resignation which was accepted by the authorities and from the date of resignation of the Chairman RERA the Authority is headless, therefore the authority is not functional as on date. As regards operationalize of the authority it is submitted that only web portal of the Authority is being handled by the J&K Housing Board and rest of the functionality of the authority is not being handled by any of the authorities/ organizations” ).
Has at all the authority been made functional and have the two members other than chairman been appointed has not been is yet to be known.
One can well imagine the miseries of those buyers who might have taken the possession of the apartments / flats from the promoters of Real Estates/ colonies even in or after 2016 and who might have been struggling with the promoters pleading for attending to the manufacturing defects / incompleteness they might have found after taking over the possession.
Well said, transparency and equitable development approach are all truthfully written in files but question is are they truthfully made to be there in approach ? How would the discrepancies and problems as they exist in the real estate sector in Jammu and Kashmir shall be eradicated with RERA nowhere in regular operation in J&K even after six years of the birth of RERA Act.?
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, Act No : 16 is an Act to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Authority for regulation and promotion of the real estate sector and to ensure sale of plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, or sale of real estate project, in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect the interest of consumers in the real estate sector and to establish an adjudicating mechanism for speedy dispute redressal and also to establish the Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals from the decisions, directions or orders of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority and the adjudicating officer and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 makes it mandatory provision for establishing Real Estate Regulatory Authority ( RERA) in each State ( except J&K Section-1.1) /UT for regulation of the Real Estate Sector and particularly for securing the interests of the buyers of services from real estate project promoters.
But J&K could not immediately have an own Act for RERA and it was only after 2 years that in 2018 the then J&K State Administrative Council too had approved the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act , Governor’s Act No LIII of 2018 notified on 16-12-2018 which had almost similar provisions as in Act No 16 of 2016 of Parliament but no any RERA was put in place even upto the day the J&K state was reorganised into UTs of J&K & Ladakh when under the provisions of the J&K Reorganization Act 2019, the J&K RER&D Act of 2018 was repealed and The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) AC, 2016, Act No:16 of 2016 became applicable for UT of J&K.
The Section 84(1) of the RER&D Act of 2016 confers powers on the Governments of States and Union Territories to frame Rules to carry out the implementation of law and The Administrative Council of UT of J&K under the chairmanship of G.C. Murmu LG framed J&K Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2020 which were notified by the Housing and J&K Urban Development Department on in July , 2020 under the provisions of RER&D Act, 2016. It was then hoped that atleast in 2020 a regular Real Estate Regulatory Authority would be installed in J&K for regulation of the real estate sector and securing the interests of the buyers of lands/ apartments viz. viz real estate promotors in the public / private / co- operative /Self Financed Co-operative Sector but that did not happen even nearly 3 years after August 2019.
To be continued
(The author is Sr Journalist, social activist and analyst J&K affairs email@example.com)