U.P. RERA driven by protection of Consumer Interest – Sanjay R Bhoosreddy

Arijit Bose

Lucknow: Known to have a tough demeanour, the newly appointed Chairman of the  Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UPRERA), Sanjay R Bhoosreddy  brings with him the voluminous experience of being, a retired IAS officer of the 1989 batch having served as Additional Chief Secretary-Sugar Industry, and prior key  positions as Investment Commissioner of the UP government. Notably he has also served in the Uttar Pradesh Housing Board.

With Sanjay R Bhoosreddy at the helm, the Authority is poised to get a boost in terms of working at full capacity, and hearing complaints, order execution, among other crucial activites. In an exclusive one to one with The Lucknow Tribune, he shares his vision. EXCERPTS

As you now take up this crucial role as UP RERA Chairman what are your future plans, the priorities, challenges and your first thoughts ?

My predecessor and his team have done commendable job as the founding Authority. Now I can look forward to the next leg of RERA and improve RERA compliances across the stake holders. There is a problem of the legacy projects in the district of Gautam Budhha Nagar and we plan to address the issues relating to stuck projects by meticulous studies and planning. We are going to enlist the views of the promoters, the AoAs, the planning authorities and consulting agencies in the sector. I am hopeful that with case to case intervention and some policy interventions, many of these projects will get towards completion. We are going to include the tracking and monitoring of the periodical progress reports of the projects and actively involve the home buyers in getting factual inputs about the projects and the promoters. We shall make sure that every promoter adheres to the model Agreement for Sale and we shall undertake the training of registered real estate agents and also of any entity or individual planning to get registered with RERA. The certification of RERA will be made mandatory  for their registrations and renewals. We shall be focusing on improving compliances of our orders by the promoters and make non-compliances costly. We shall be initiating criminal prosecution of promoters in case of serious defaults like non-registration of projects besides RERA orders. We shall soon start the grading framework for the projects and promoters which will help the prospective investors in making rational choices for their houses.

2- UP RERA has done well on complaint redressal, why is this important in your day to day working?

The protection of consumer interest is at the centre of the RERA Act. House is one of the three basic human needs with the house needing the biggest investment and in a time when the middle class is looking for a better life with civic amenities and opportunities and when the availability of land is shrinking, such a housing need can be met only through group housing projects. Home buyers are justifiably looking for timely delivery of their houses and in case of defaults by the promoters in completion of the projects, they expect speedy redressal of their grievances. This is the core object of the RERA Act.

RERA which has been following e-courts since February, 2020. The benefit of the system has been that even during Covid-19 Pandemic, the Benches of U.P. RERA in Lucknow and Greater Noida could function in a normal fashion and disposal of the cases and enforcement of orders continued as usual. U.P. RERA can claim credit for handling about 38 percent of the complaints across all the RERAs in the country and also deciding about 40 percent of the complaints in the country.

 

3- What are your plans to further streamline the refund process?

U.P. RERA has a well established and streamlined process to enforce its orders of refund on execution requests filed by the allottees as per provisions of section 40(1) of the RERA Act and rule 23 of the U.P. RERA Rules which provide for recovery of the amount payable by the promoters to the allottees as arrears of land revenue by concerned District Magistrates and their subordinate revenue officers. U.P. RERA has so far facilitated recovery of Rs. 677.00 crores against 3540 recovery certificates and electronically transferred to the bank accounts of the concerned allottees. The recovery of amounts against the RCs issued by U.P. RERA is far higher than all the RERAs of the country put together.

We are also holding review meetings with the DMs of the districts like Gautam Buddha Nagar, Lucknow and Ghaziabad who are handling the largest number of U.P. RERA RCs.

4- How do you plan to make the Regulatory process more foolproof?

RERA aims at transparency and accountability at the level of the promoters, healthy growth of the real estate, discipline in the sector and effective redressal of consumer grievances. Not only the home buyers but other stake holders like law abiding promoters have also greatly benefitted from RERA. U.P. RERA has realized the objective of de-registering projects in case of serious defaults by the promoters, providing an interactive web portal and keeping all information in public domain with a view to empower and enlighten the consumers.

We have plans to increase our focus on advocacy campaigns to enlighten the stake holders. We are going to increase our interactions with the planning authorities and to impress upon them to process the applications for sanctioned plans, revalidation, compounding, OCs and CCs in time. 

5- What should buyers and promoters expect in the coming times?

When RERA came into being, the sector was beset with a lot of problems and these problems were mainly legacy problems. The sector can expect clean and uninterrupted growth spreading out of the traditional real estate districts, already visible in increasing number of real estate projects in districts like Varanasi, Prayagraj, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, Agra and Mathura and even in smaller centres. The home buyers and promoter can now be certain that there shall be greater discipline in the sector.

6-How do you see the property sector booming in the post GIS world?

Studies point out that there is about 25 to 30 percent increase in the sale of the real estate properties and rates of the properties are also on the rise.

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