Thousands of homebuyers have been left in the lurch as they wait for compensation from defaulting builders for several months and revenue officials dither on recovery.
Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority (K-Rera) listed 120 apartment projects whose promoters have failed to deliver flats within the agreed date. It asked deputy commissioners of respective districts to recover a cumulative amount of Rs 238 crore from builders and pay consumers. However, only around Rs 6.8 crore has been recovered since April and only 14 out of 5,800 consumers were fortunate enough to receive compensation.
The sorry state of affairs is being attributed to the absence of a dedicated secretary to K-Rera among other reasons.
The government had posted K Nagendra Prasad as K-Rera secretary in April after transferring KS Latha Kumari. But this is a concurrent charge given to Nagendra Prasad, who is director of the horticulture department. According to officials, enforcement of Rera rules is taking a hit because of this. “K-Rera needs a full-time secretary considering the workload and the nature of service that entitles protection of consumer interest. We have written to the government to post a dedicated secretary and response is awaited,” said K-Rera chairman HC Kishore Chandra.
“We have made some internal arrangements to ensure routine works are not hampered. While regulation issues demand dedicated attention, we are managing it with some extra working hours,” said Nagendra Prasad.
Monitoring apartment projects to see whether developers are complying with the rules and ensuring defaulters pay compensation to homebuyers demands regular field work and perpetual interaction with revenue officials. The stakeholders, including civil society organisations, argue that Rera rules cannot be effectively implemented without the presence of a full-time secretary at the real estate watchdog.
According to Rera rules, a developer who fails to deliver a flat within the deadline declared in the agreement of sale has to pay compensation — the amount decided by K-Rera adjudicating officer, and 8.5% interest on the amount paid by the customer for the delayed period. The recovery from developers is done by the revenue department and it can even attach the property in question following orders of the adjudicating officer.
In Bengaluru Urban district alone, about 600 recovery cases are pending. “A long process is involved in recovering compensation money from defaulting developers and it takes more time if it is a case for attachment. We are at it,” said Bengaluru Urban DC J Manjunath.