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West Bengal Lags Behind In Real Estate Registrations

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West Bengal Lags Behind In Real Estate Registrations

West Bengal has emerged as the Indian state with the least amount of real estate project registrations under its independent real estate law WBHIRA

While the majority of developers in most Indian states have adopted a more responsible attitude post RERA (Real Estate {Regulation and Development} Act), the ones in West Bengal are lagging far behind. West Bengal, unlike other Indian states, refused to implement RERA. The state not only missed the deadline to implement RERA, but its government also disagreed with certain terms that were defined in RERA. It instead came up with its own version of the act known as West Bengal Housing and Industrial Regulation Act (WBHIRA). It came into force on June 1 last year.

So, what led to West Bengal having the lowest number of real estate projects registered? Many experts believe that WBHIRA is not strict enough and gives quite a free hand to developers as far as project completion deadlines are concerned.

Most builders in the state are not even aware that such an act exists. WBHIRA’s authorities it seems have failed to spread the word in an authoritative tone. As of now, merely 403 projects have been registered under WBHIRA. The only areas from the state where these registrations have taken place are Kolkata and the adjoining north and South 24 Parganas — accounted for 349 of those registrations.

A real estate expert stated, “It is unimaginable to think only 127 projects have been registered so far in Kolkata. Surely there are many more coming up but not avoiding HIRA.” 120 projects have been registered in North 24-Parganas, while in South 24-Parganas 102 projects are registered. Howrah has merely 16 projects registered.

WB HIRA in a nutshell

  • Under section 3(1) all projects must be registered with WBHIRA. The exceptions being:
  • Projects which have received the completion certificate.
  • Projects which have only eight apartments in all phases put together.
  • Projects being constructed on an area of land less than 5,400 square feet.
  • Projects which are being repaired or redeveloped which will not have any kind of marketing, advertising, selling or new allotment of any apartment, plot or building.

If a developer does not register his/her project:

  • 10 percent of the project cost is levied as a fine.
  • Hassled homebuyers can bring up the matter in front of the WBHIRA authority.

Many experts believe that WBHIRA is a watered-down version of RERA. While RERA has 92 sections, WB HIRA has merely 39 sections. An example to note here is the stark differences between RERA and WBHIRA.

Under ‘unforeseen circumstances that prevent a builder from fulfilling his contract’

  • RERA states

The circumstances could be war, flood, drought, fire, cyclone, earthquake or any other calamity caused by nature.

  • WBHIRA states

The same circumstances as RERA are mentioned along with “or any other circumstances as may be prescribed.”

Under ‘deadline for grant of registration’

  • RERA: 30 days.
  • WBHIRA: There is no time limit set.

The Present Scenario Of WBHIRA

  • As of now, the number of complaints looked into by WBHIRA seem to be zero.
  • Ironically, WBHIRA has listed nine projects as defaulters.

What Did India’s Supreme Court Stated?

  • India’s Supreme Court recently issued a notice to WB government and the Government of India to repeal WBHIRA.
  • This was done because the apex court admitted a plea filed by pan-India homebuyers’ body Forum for Peoples Collective Efforts (FPCE) against WBHIRA.

 

Source: Telegraph India

ALSO READ: Property Registrations Under RERA Rise Across The Country

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