Builders may have to register with Pune Municipal Corporation

PUNE: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is planning to start a mandatory registration process for builders so that they can be held accountable for constructions carried out within the PMC limits. No construction projects will be allowed without registration.

“The administration has taken the decision to avoid cases of building and wall collapse. If the builders are registered with the civic body then they can be held accountable for any mishaps. At present, there is no provision where the builders can be held responsible for accidents or poor quality work,” said Mahesh Pathak, municipal commissioner while speaking to TOI on Friday.

It’s only the structural auditors and architects who are registered with the civic administration so that they can be questioned and held responsible for any mishap. The same process will now be introduced to the builders.

“The officials at PMC’s building department are working on the legal process related to the registration, which will be completed soon. The actual registration process will start in one month’s time,” he said.

Pathak said the registration system will be set up along the lines of the Union government’s real estate bill. The bill has proposed that the each project should be registered with the local body.

However, the civic administration’s registration process will not be confined to registration for a particular project. There will be no separate registration for projects but the builder will have to register. It will be a one-time registration no matter how many projects he undertakes.

If the registered builder is found involved in wrong practices, he may be banned from working within the PMC limits, said Pathak. “After any complaints, the builders will be called for a hearing. If the complaints are found true and the builder is found to have made serious lapses in work, then his registration will be cancelled. The option to suspend the license during the inquiry period is also available,” he said.

The city has registered four major accidents of wall / toilet/ wada collapse in the last two months where seven people lost their lives. Last year, an illegal building in Taljai area had collapsed killing 11 people.

Currently, the city has around 7.5 lakh properties including commercial and residential. Each year PMC gets around 4,500 proposals seeking building permissions.

Source: The Times of India

BJP seeks CBI probe into plot allotment scam

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday demanded a CBI inquiry into alleged irregularities in allotment of plots under the defence services quota in Haryana.

After HT highlighted how several officers fraudulently occupied multiple plots in the state, the party’s media in-charge in Haryana, Umesh Agarwal, submitted a memorandum to Governor Jagannath Pahadia, seeking a suitable investigation in the alleged scam.

In his memorandum, submitted through Gurgaon deputy commissioner PC Meena, Agarwal has alleged that the anomalies could not have happened without the involvement of government officials. He also requested the governor to issue suitable directions to investigate any political patronage enjoyed by the beneficiaries.

On June 7, HT had reported that several ex-servicemen belonging to the Army, Navy and Air Force — even those who have held ranks of lieutenant-general, brigadier and colonel — allegedly forged affidavits to acquire as many as 12 residential plots each under the Haryana Urban Development Authority’s (Huda) plot allotment scheme for defence personnel.

About 24 of the 124 plots listed in Sharma’s complaint are in Gurgaon. To get more plots, many officers had applied both in their names and their spouses’ names in violation of norms. Some even changed their names and forged papers, reveal documents.

Vigilance sleuths attached with the Haryana Chief Minister’s flying squad are inquiring into the complaints.

Meanwhile, after HT reports, Huda on June 10 issued a notice to a serving colonel who owns multiple plots in Haryana, including one in Gurgaon.

Source: Hindustan Times

Corporator to rope in architect for slum infrastructure

To ensure better planning in slums, a corporator is now roping in an architect to design infrastructure in his ward specific to the local requirement.

BMC, which has provided for additional Rs 100 crore for slum projects, has asked ward offices to appoint consultants to plan such projects. Each corporator in wards dominated by slums has received Rs 15 lakh to Rs 1 crore for improvement of slum infrastructure.

Rais Shaikh, SP corporator from ward 132 in Chembur (east) is in the process of appointing an architect for basic civic infrastructure. “There are major lacunae in the existing infrastructure, especially in slums. For example, the civic administration has set up a drainage system, but there are missing links or broken drains that lead to water flowing back into the homes of slum dwellers,” said Shaikh.

Shaikh said the architect will study, analyse and design infrastructure and bridge the gaps. At present, setting up of infrastructure like drains, public toilets, construction and repair of roads is done by the local ward office. “The architect will also look at the need for green patches,” he said.

“BMC engineers work in isolation while setting up or repairing civic infrastructure. In most cases, it is not well-connected to reach the end-user,” said Shaikh.

Source: The Indian Express

Cabinet approves Real Estate Regulatory Bill: All you need to know

The Union Cabinet approved the bill to set up a regulator for the real estate sector with provisions for jail term for the developer for putting out misleading advertisements about projects.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the bill:

1.The Real Estate (Regulation and Development), Bill 2013, seeks to make it mandatory for developers to launch projects only after acquiring all the statutory clearances from relevant authorities.

2.It also has provisions under which all relevant clearances for real estate projects would have to be submitted to the regulator and also displayed on a website before starting the construction.

3.The proposed legislation has certain tough provisions to deter builders from putting out misleading advertisements related to the projects carrying photographs of actual site. Failure to do so for the first time would attract a penalty which may be up to 10 percent of the project cost and a repeat offence could land the developer in jail. Moreover, any false advertising implies that buyers will get full refund of the money deposited with interest.

4. The bill also seeks to make it mandatory for a developer to maintain a separate bank account for every project to ensure that the money raised for a particular project is not diverted elsewhere. According to a CNBC-TV18 report, developers have to keep aside 70 percent of the buyers’ funds in a separate bank account to ensure timely completion of projects. The buyers are entitled to full refund with interest in case of delay in projects.

5. The proposed legislation provides for clear definition of the ‘carpet area’ and would prohibit private developers from selling houses or flats on the basis of ambiguous ‘super area’.

6. Under the proposed new law, builders will be able to sell property only after getting all necessary clearances. Registrations of projects with the regulatory authority is a must. This means developers cannot offer any pre-launch sales without the regulatory approvals. Moreover the authority must approve or reject projects within 15 days.

7. Developers will also be barred from collecting any money from buyers before completing all necessary permits to start construction on the project.

8. Builders cannot take more than 10 percent of the advance from buyers without a written agreement.
9. The bill also seeks setting up of a real estate appellate tribunal for adjudicating disputes. The tribunal will be headed either by a sitting or a retired judge.

10. It also suggests setting up of a national advisory council to be headed by housing minister Ajay Maken to suggest ways to advise the regulator on crucial matters.

Source: Property News India

Unsold houses pile up as sales slump

CHENNAI: Builders across the country have been worried as unsold housing stock have been piling up in the recent months.

Chennai’s unsold housing stock, for instance, has risen from 20,000 units a year ago to 45,000 units now as per a study conducted by international realty consultant Jones Lang LaSalle. Sales have dipped across seven major markets in India in the first quarter of 2013, said JLL chairman and country head Anuj Puri. As against 80,000 apartments sold in the last quarter of 2012, only 65,000 units were sold between January and March this year. A sizeable portion, about 39% of these sales happened in the National Capital Region (NCR). Mumbai accounts for 18%, Bangalore 15%, Chennai 13% and Pune 8%.

The waiting period for unsold inventory in Chennai is the lowest among seven major Indian cities, said Puri. While the average waiting period for a completed apartment to get sold in the country is 15 months, in Chennai it is only 10 months. Hyderabad and Kolkata have a slightly higher waiting period of 12 months, Pune and Gurgaon 14 months and Bangalore 23 months. An average apartment in Mumbai, which has the highest waiting period, gets sold after 34 months of completion. It is this comparatively higher demand for residential apartments that helped Chennai rebound soon after the 2008-09 realty slump, noted Puri.

Differentiating between Chennai city and outlying areas, JLL MD Badal Yagnik said, “While the demand for housing in the core city is quite high even now, it has slowed down in the suburbs.” He attributes the slump in the suburbs partly to an unprecedented glut in supplies and partly to a steep hike in prices, especially on the Old Mahabalipuram Road in a short span of six to nine months. “Until a year ago, apartment price on the OMR was in the region of Rs 4,000 per sq ft. It suddenly went up to Rs 5,500 per sq ft in areas like Sholinganallur and Thoraipakkam, which still lag in good social infrastructure. Naturally, sales dipped”.

About 35% of Chennai suburbs unsold housing stock is on the OMR, said India Property CEO Ganesh Vasudevan. “If investors who have funded the projects find it difficult to exit, the market may crash as it happened in the case of NCR,” he said. Too much concentration by builders on OMR is the bane of Chennai, noted Arun Excello CMD P Suresh. “When so much of development is happening on the OMR, transportation facility and social infrastructure need to be improved manifold.”

Source: The Times of India