If you're a frustrated homebuyer thinking of knocking on the doors of the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), be warned: There's nobody home to listen to your complaint. As many as 1,390 complaints related to unregistered projects have been filed online in the last three months, but RERA is yet to take action in a single case.
Stuck at the first step
For those who have an issue with a property that is not registered, this is just the first step towards getting justice, as you require a RERA registration number to file any complaint with the authority.
For such cases, RERA has set up a separate online forum on which citizens can approach the regulatory body, seeking action against unregistered projects. But RERA has not taken action in any of the cases. This means hundreds of citizens can't even file complaints about their real property issues.
This was discovered by activist Jeetendra Ghadge, who told mid-day, "The majority of ongoing projects are still unregistered with RERA. It's obvious that fraudulent developers have avoided registering their projects. Unfortunately, on the website, we can only file complaints for registered projects. This does not make any sense."
He filed a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, to which he got a response on September 7, stating: "Though the total number of complaints is 1,390, it could be lesser, as there are multiple complaints against the same developers. Also, some are complaints of projects that are already registered under RERA. Others had not given details of projects, while a few are not even related to RERA."
The RTI reply further reads: "The scrutiny of complaints is still going on."
Ghadge alleged, "The RERA office has intentionally ignored my query asking for the names of the officials responsible for taking action on these complaints."
The other side
Asked to comment on the matter, RERA chairman Gautam Chatterjee told mid-day to speak to RERA secretary Vasant Prabhu, who did not reply to calls or messages.
However, an official from the regulatory body said, "The complaints will be scrutinised, but phase wise. As there are few more days till the final deadline for registration, we are waiting for developers to come forward, which has happened in some cases."
The source added, "Our priority is to give justice to those who have paid complaint fees and submitted necessary documents. We will also look at the source complaints."
Inputs by Chetna Yerunkar
>> Developers were given a deadline to July 31 to register under RERA Act. More than 14,000 projects were registered, but several thousands slipped the net.
>> If a developer fails to register his project, a penalty of 10% will be levied on the entire project cost.
>> Buyers can file complaints against the developers for unfulfilled promises and frauds only if the project is registered under RERA.
>> These complaints require a fee of R5,000.
>> If your project is unregistered, you can file a 'source complaint' on the website email@example.com
Developers who missed the first deadline now have a second chance to register their projects under RERA by September 30, by paying a penalty of Rs 2 lakh.
Number of online complaints about unregistered projects in three months
Number of days in which RERA is supposed to act on complaints
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