This refers to the editorial, “Realty reform” (April 9). The Cabinet has cleared the amended Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, which is the need of the hour. But much more needs to be done. It is high time that the buyers get guarantee for the houses and flats, as is the norm in other consumer products like cars, refrigerators, mobile phones, television, etc. One invests the savings of her life-time while buying a roof over one’s head. What we see is details like clubhouse, gardens, jogging areas, and children’s areas in advertisements. Buyers are more concerned about aspects like fire control, security, power-availability, etc. The Real Estate Bill is the first step towards cleaning the Augean stables in the housing sector in India, as housing is a basic necessity. Buyers should have a right to know about the raw materials used in construction. There should be a BEE-like certification system in the housing sector, like in electronics products. A building should last for a minimum of 100 years. What we see is after 20-25 years, there is talk of redevelopment of old buildings. When forts and palaces, and stand majestically for hundreds of years, can’t our modern buildings last for at least 100 years?
Deendayal M Lulla
China, the US & India
Apropos of the column “China’s new normal & US’s old habits” (April 2), it is correct that China is generating a lot of confusion nowadays, both at home, where senior officials tout the economy’s “new normal”, and abroad, exemplified by America’s embrace of Cold War-style tactics to contain China’s rise. However, it has to be kept in mind that as China confronts the challenges of its economy’s shift to a new normal, it will need to find common ground with the US. And the US will need to work to deepen its understanding of China’s transition. Both the countries, in fact, will have to show leadership, vision and openness to collaborative engagement. We hope they do so for a better world. We also hope that India, under a strong leadership, keeps a close watch.
Bhopal Singh Verma
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