The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) will soon have 27 conciliation panels across the state to help address issues between aggrieved consumers and developers and ensure completion of projects on time.
MahaRERA also wants to ensure through the panels that the buyers get what they pay for. Currently, 15 conciliation panels are in operation — 10 in Mumbai and 5 in Pune.
The panels have so far resolved nearly 400 cases of the 541 it received, MahaRERA officials said. The additional 12 panels will be for Pune (1), Thane, Navi Mumbai, Nashik and Nagpur.
These panels comprise a consumer representative and a developer representative, who interact with banks, homebuyers and builders for timely completion of the projects. A recent meeting of the housing ministry had appreciated the formation of the conciliation forums in Maharashtra and urged all other states to replicate the model.
Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) chairperson Shirish Deshpande, who had taken the lead in forming such forums, said citizens have been registering for conciliation as they believed it would be a quicker process (if both the parties were willing) rather than waiting for a long-drawn case.
“The response towards the forums has been encouraging, both from the consumers and the developers. Keeping this in mind, it was decided to increase the number of such forums,” he said.
The conciliation panels help interact home buyers, builders and banks to maintain the stipulated time declared by the developer on its website.
Earlier last month, MahaRERA ordered seizure and auction of 253 properties of builders across the state to refund flat buyers, who were yet to receive possession because the developers had no funds to complete the projects.
All of these were cases where the buyers saw the real estate value of their flats plummeting and wanted to take advantage of the RERA provisions that allowed them to exit the projects with their investment, along with the interest amounts.
The MahaRERA officials said buyers trying to exit the projects would derail the entire process and told the allottees to get together and “combat the situation”.