Maharashtra government in quandary over housing act
The Maharashtra government had earlier referred both the state and
central housing regulatory acts to its legal department for a decision on which
of these two should be followed in Maharashtra. The state government itself,
though, is of the opinion that the Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and
Development) Act, 2012 — which
is more pro-consumer and stringent on developers — should be followed over the central act.
are confused after the Centre recently approved its own act, and hence we
decided to seek legal opinion before finalising things. We have been asked by
the Centre to repeal the state act so that the central act can be enforced. But
if we check both the central and state acts point by point, the state act is
more powerful and adds more teeth to the consumer's cause," said a senior
government official requesting anonymity.
added that the Maharashtra Housing Regulatory Act is ready for implementation
at a moment's notice. "We had also prepared the guidelines. If there is
clarity that the state act should be followed, we will intimate the central
housing department about our decision," the official said.
Waikar, Maharshtra's housing minister, said that there are many provisions in
the central act that have nothing to do with the state's housing industry.
"Mumbai is a dynamic city which has its own individual issues, and the
central act does not include various issues that pertain to Mumbai and
Maharashtra. Therefore, we are primarily of the opinion that our state act
should be retained. Many developers take buyers on a ride, so we have to
protect the interests of the buyers and consumers over that of the
developers," Waikar said.
Patel, a Congress MLA and member of the joint select committee that has
prepared the state bill, said that in the central act, there is no provision of
deemed conveyance, which involves transferring the title of a plot of land or
building. This has been made in the state act. "Conveyance is the major
issue in Mumbai. There are many cases of developers who have developed a
building, but are yet to make the conveyance even after 30 years of the
project's completion. Without the conveyance, the redevelopment of these
buildings will not take place. Therefore, we had included the provision of
deemed conveyance so that many residents could benefit and redevelop their
dilapidated buildings," Patel said.
further said that there are 45,000 housing societies in Maharashtra that are
still awaiting ownership of the title from the developers. "If we repeal
the state act, then the developers will take advantage and throw out the
existing residents from these buildings to make way for redevelopment. The
central government act seems to be soft towards developers," Patel added.
He said that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should write to the Centre asking
for the state housing act to be implemented in Maharshtra.