GUWAHATI: To protect the interests of consumers, the State Government formed the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. Five years have elapsed, but RERA failed to serve its very purpose.
The outcome is that the Gauhati High Court has served a notice to RERA a few days back based on a PIL filed by Anita Verma. The PIL will come up for its next hearing on February 3, 2022.
The State government set up the RERA to protect apartment buyers from harassment from builders and promoters. The key objective of RERA is to upload details of promoters and developers antecedents, the status of approval of buildings and other related information on the website.
The Act says that RERA has to launch its website within a year and upload details of promoters and developers. It will let the buyers know the details of building promoters before making any advance payment for buying apartments. Five years have already elapsed, but RERA has not yet launched its website.
The Act has provisions of the appellate authority and a court to settle disputes between buyers and sellers. However, the court is not functioning smoothly. The Act further says that all activities of RERA will be online. However, RERA does most of its work manually.
Apartments keep springing up in Guwahati and other urban areas in the state. A section of builders takes advance amounts from buyers. However, they (builders) often fail to hand over apartments to the buyers on time. In most cases, the buyers have to run after builders.
Some builders also play the mischief – they show buildings' interior plans while signing agreements but make changes at their convenience later, deviating from the original plans. Had RERA launched its website on time, the customers would have got details of building projects before making advance payments or signing agreements.
A source associated with the real estate business said, "It baffles us why RERA has not launched the website even after five years of its formation. Thus it has failed the very objective of the Act. RERA makes queries to promoters regarding the technical and legal aspects of projects. Agencies like the GMC, GMDA, Town and Country Planning bodies permit us to erect buildings after verifying all related issues. Why should RERA quiz us regarding projects? It is high time RERA focused on its objectives to protect buyers' interests."