Pan-India homebuyers’ group Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE) has urged the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to ask the West Bengal government to implement the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act instead of the West Bengal Housing and Industrial Regulation Act (WBHIRA). “We are extremely concerned about RERA being rendered redundant if the State of West Bengal is successful in implementing WBHIRA in place of RERA, since it may prompt other States to follow suit,” the FPCE said in a letter to the housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
RERA was fully notified in 2017 and states were given powers to notify their respective rules and appoint regulatory authorities. The West Bengal government also came out with the draft West Bengal Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2016 in January last year, and had invited one of the members of the homebuyers group in a discussion meeting to give feedback on the said draft rules. However, in May this year, the state came out with its housing industry Act contrary to RERA.
Both RERA and West Bengal’s HIRA differ on the definition of the force majeure clause and garage. Under RERA, the force majeure clause can be invoked only in case of war, drought, floods, earthquake, fire or any other natural calamity affecting the regular development of real estate projects. However, according to HIRA, over and above the conditions listed under RERA, the force majeure clause can be declared for any other circumstance prescribed.
While RERA requires a roof and walls on three sides to be called a garage, HIRA has removed the clause altogether and defined garage as any parking space sanctioned by the government authority.