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Posted at: Sep 13, 2018, 12:15 AM; last updated: Sep 13, 2018, 12:15 AM (IST)

Punjab RERA wakes up to bite

Puts hundreds of builders on notice, 27 Ludhiana firms under lens
Punjab RERA wakes up to bite
Illustration: SANDEEP JOSHI

Vijay C Roy & Kuldip Bhatia

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 12

Unscrupulous builders of Punjab stare at huge penalties and even imprisonment for ignoring notices sent by the regulator. Armed with adequate information, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of Punjab has issued an ultimatum to 190-odd builders.

“Notices sent to 191 builders returned unanswered. While some might not have actually received it, there are many who would have deliberately avoided it. We have given them the last opportunity,” said Sanjiv Gupta, member, RERA-Punjab. The non-compliance (with the Act) will invite trouble for the defaulters, he said. 

Under the RERA Act, the regulator can impose a penalty up to 10 per cent of the project cost. Besides, the non-compliance of its orders or directions is punishable with up to three-year imprisonment or another 10 per cent penalty, or both.

The authority has also issued notices to 483 builders who have been evading registration of their projects under the RERA-Punjab. Unscrupulous builders do not want to register their commercial or residential projects to evade the new law, which prohibits the regulator to act against unregistered projects. The unregistered projects include completed and under-construction projects and those yet to receive completion certificates. Builders cannot, however, avoid registration in perpetuity.

The regulator is now acting against unregistered projects. “Initially, we were busy putting up the system. Now, we are enforcing provisions of the Act,” Gupta said. He said of the 483 notices, responses have been received from several developers and 159 cases have already been disposed of.

The regulator has issued show-cause notices to 27 Ludhiana-based developers as registration of projects is mandatory within three months after the commencement of the RERA Act, sources said. The Punjab RERA Act was enforced on June 8, 2017, and the authority was set up on August 10, the same year.

Until last month, the RERA-Punjab had resolved 129 property-related disputes. According to the authority, over 40 per cent of the cases were related to non-registered projects; hence it could not act against the builders. Several other cases were resolved amicably while penalties or refunds were imposed on developers in some cases.

Though there are more than 1,500 realty projects running in the state, only 584 have been registered.  Hwever, 80 project registration applications are pending, sources said.

On the radar

674 builders put on notice
191 serious cases
27 Ludhiana firms on radar

Penalty under the Act

Under the RERA Act, the regulator can impose a penalty up to 10 per cent of the project cost for non-compliance with the Act. Besides, there is provision for up to  three-year jail, or another 10 per cent penalty, or both, for not adhering to the regulators’  orders, decisions or directions.

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