Much to the relief of both consumers and real estate developers, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath launched the online RERA registration platform in Lucknow on Wednesday. With this, builders have four days until July 31 to register their projects. In another welcome step, unlike other states where builders have to wait for 37 days to get their registration numbers, in UP, builders can register their projects on the website and instantly get a RERA registration number. This would be a huge help for the builders, who were not able to advertise their upcoming projects in the media as the Act prevented any non-RERA project from either getting advertised or sold. Builders are happy as this would mean that they can get back to business. Welcoming the move, RK Arora, chairman of Supertech, said, “We appreciate the efforts of the chief minister. The move will be instrumental in bringing in transparency and accountability in the real estate projects undertaken in UP and will revive the customer’s confidence, which will in turn revive demand for real estate projects here. The developers on their part now need to support the initiative by complying with the rules and registering their projects on the website. We at Supertech had prepared ourselves well in advance to comply with RERA rules,” he added.
However, home buyers aren’t particularly happy because the UP-RERA follows the format implemented by previous Akhilesh Yadav’s government. “There is a lot of confusion regarding RERA in Uttar Pradesh. Till now, new rules have not been notified and if the website is considering the draft rules notified by the previous Samajwadi Party government, then those rules favour the developers and not the homebuyers. That leaves the scope for builders to dodge us,” said Ankit Roy, a home buyer who has bought a flat in Greater Noida. “There are problems with the draft RERA rules. If the state government is registering projects under draft rules and we face problems because of this, then within a period of one year we will take the matter to the Allahabad High Court,” said Indreesh Gupta of Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association.
“We have been demanding that UP adopts RERA Act in letter and spirit, as introduced by the Union government. The UP version of RERA is soft on builders and we will challenge this in court,” he added. Homebuyers in India face a bouquet of problems while buying houses and RERA was conceptualised to address these concerns that often leave homebuyers frustrated and make builders more accountable. It may be mentioned that despite assurances that it would revise the real estate regulations rules notified by the previous Akhilesh Yadav government in October last year, the Yogi Adityanath government has not revised the rules and instead, adopted the same.
Addressing newspersons at the launch, principal secretary housing, who is the interim RERA head till the time a new chairman and other members are selected, said that RERA has already been notified in the state on October 27, 2016.
In fact, the previous government had come in for considerable flak for diluting the real estate regulation rules and while reviewing Central government schemes in May, Union housing minister M Venkaiah Naidu has stated that some of the UP rules were contrary to the norms notified by the Government of India. He had also said that CM Yogi had assured him of revision in those provisions.
So much so that the chief minister has, time and again, stated that some of the home buyers’ organisations had brought the issue concerning the rules to his notice and that he will ensure that the interest of lakhs of existing home buyers is protected.
“We will revise the real estate regulations to bring incomplete housing projects under the law to protect the interest of lakhs of existing home buyers,” the chief minister had told Naidu, when he had come to Lucknow in May.
UP’s notified rules have come under criticism as they allow an escape route to most of the ongoing projects, which is contrary to the Central rules which says that projects without completion certificate will be treated as ‘ongoing projects’ and will have to be registered with the regulators concerned in each state. Due to this, home buyers have raised concerns that UP’s rules are more in favour of the builders and will adversely impact the consumers.
(Co-authored by Surbhi Prasad)