THOUGH the law mandates a fee of Rs 5,000 for every complaint filed with it, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority has decided to accept complaints about unregistered projects for free from informants until the 90-day period granted to builders to register their projects ends. Chairman of Maharashtra’s RERA Gautam Chatterjee said that until July 30, before which all builders have to register their ventures with the authority, complaints about unregistered projects will be analysed by his team of 25 officials on a daily basis. “RERA operates on reactive mode. Residents can point out such cases in the form of an email or can contact our help desk. Once the details of a complaint have been verified, we will take up the case on a suo motu basis and take suitable action,” said Chatterjee.
Citing clauses of the Act, he said fine imposed for violations will continue to increase until it equates 5 per cent of the total project cost, after which more severe forms of punitive action will be initiated. “Other kinds of penalties will include suspension of the registration given to the project. For more serious offences, the registration can also be revoked,” said Chatterjee. He added that RERA is not primarily a policing body and that the Act will seek to bring in more transparency in the real estate sector.
Meanwhile, more than a month since the start of the 90-day period for registration of projects was opened up, the pace of the applications being submitted online continues to be slow. In comparison to their target of receiving more than 20,000 applications for projects and registration applications from more than 50,000 brokers, officials at RERA said they have not received much response yet. Since May 1, the RERA has only received 24 applications from across the state, of which around 15 have been registered. For brokers, the officials said they have received 1,192 applications, of which 1,053 have been registered.
As per the Act, brokers will have to shell out Rs 10,000 if registering as an individual and Rs 1 lakh if registering as a firm. For the registration of a project, the builder will have to pay a sum that will be calculated at the rate of Rs 10 per square metre of the plot area.
Officials said they were not concerned about the low number of registrations as all builders would eventually have to register their projects or risk violating the Act.
“We have come to know that while many builders have uploaded all the relevant documents of their projects, they are yet to submit the forms online. Since majority of the projects are ongoing, it is natural for builders to be a little apprehensive about the new rules, as they have been doing things differently for a long time now. But we expect more activity in the second half of this month,” said another official.