Mumbai: Citizens’ forums upset with MahaRERA move

Sweety AdimulamUpdated: Wednesday, September 08, 2021, 11:33 PM IST
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Mumbai: Citizens’ forums upset with MahaRERA move |

Mumbai: People’s forums have expressed disappointment against the real estate authorities of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka for giving developers blanket extensions of six to nine months to complete real estate projects amid the second wave of Covid-19.

The president of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association, Ramesh Prabhu, said, under section 6 of RERA Act, there was a provision to give a one-year extension under the force majeure clause, provided the developer/promoter made an application. But MahaRERA had given a blanket extension to all, which was uncalled for.

He explained, “This force majeure clause, why is it only applicable to the builders and not to the allottee (homebuyer)? For instance, if an allottee has lost their job and wants to withdraw from the project, the concerned builder will deduct the amount the allottee paid as earnest money. Therefore, such an arbitrary extension for all projects was not needed. As a result, even efficient builders who would have otherwise completed their projects on time will become lethargic. It is a one-sided decision, taken only to benefit developers.”

Further, observed Prabhu, throughout this process, allottees need to pay their rent, EMIs and other expenses on time; they lose out on all counts. Prabhu also pointed out that the three-month extension given in the first wave was sufficient. In the second wave, had it been necessary, another three-month extension could have been given, he said.

Along similar lines, a letter has been written by Abhay Upadhyay, a member of the central advisory council (CAC) RERA and head of a pan-India homebuyers’ body, FPCE, to the Union Housing Secretary. Upadhyay’s letter reads, “...the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and UP have recklessly, in blatant disregard to homebuyers rights, have given another extension to the real estate projects under the garb of the Covid-19 second wave. Rera authorities are randomly giving blanket extensions even when there was no work stoppage nor complete lockdown announced either by the Central government or by any state government. The entire second wave lasted for merely 2/3 months while extension has been granted for 6/9 months which defeats any rationale.

“Such extensions are bound to create havoc and unimaginable financial stress on homebuyers. Therefore, the decision should be withdrawn,” Upadhyay demanded in his letter.

However, Anand Gupta, chairperson, Housing and RERA Committee of Builders Association of India (BAI), said that in Maharashtra alone thousands of real estate projects were ongoing. “MahaRERA doesn’t have the resources to grant extensions to each developer based on merits. Therefore, the decision to grant blanket extension of six months is a welcome move. Secondly, this decision has not taken the rights of homebuyers from approaching RERA or from getting compensated over delay in possession of their property.”

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