Even though the Haryana government appointed IAS officers as chairpersons of the two Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) benches in Panchkula and Gurgaon two months ago, the benches haven't taken shape so far.
Even though the Haryana government appointed IAS officers as chairpersons of the two Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) benches in Panchkula and Gurgaon two months ago, the benches haven’t taken shape so far. The authority’s website is also not up and running yet. In November, the state government had announced the name of additional chief secretary (education) KK Khandelwal as the head of the Gurgaon bench and additional chief secretary (health) Rajan Gupta as the head of the Panchkula bench. “According to the rules, a serving IAS officer could not assume the charge as RERA chairperson. The officials first need to opt for the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) before taking their posts,” a senior state government official said, adding that the two officials’ application for VRS is currently under process. The government may finally have the RERA portal in place by January 31, the official added.
Even before the appointment of RERA authority, the Haryana RERA was being implemented through an interim authority. The official also said that around 400 projects have been registered under the act in the state so far, while close to 650 applications have been received. The state government has been facing severe criticisms from home buyers for ‘diluting the central law by changing the definition of ongoing projects’, leaving almost 90% of the city’s residential projects outside the purview of the act.
The state has allowed a builder to be exempt from the purview of RERA even if he had applied for a licence, or received a part completion certificate, before the Act was notified. This means builders who do not complete projects and leave home buyers in the lurch, cannot be penalised as per RERA guidelines. By exempting projects for which an application for completion or occupation certificate (CC/OC) has been made on or before the rules are notified, Haryana has taken a lenient attitude towards builders. Last month, in a relief for home buyers, the Bombay high court upheld the constitutional validity of the RERA and its applicability to ongoing projects across states.