Builders refuse to honour RERA-K, yet to pay arrears

At least 47 builders have to pay land revenue arrears, according to a list published recently by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Karnataka (RERA-K). There are 504 cases against 41 developers who collectively owe Rs 117 crore to aggrieved home buyers according to RERA rulings. 

As per the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, the Revenue Department has to recover the penalty as arrears of land revenue. Out of Rs 117 crore, only Rs 1.2 crore has been recovered so far. The adjudicating officer of RERA-K has passed 1,595 judgments, asking the promoters to compensate the home buyers under sections 12, 14, 18 and 19 of the RERA. 

M S Shankar, General Secretary, Forum for People’s Collective Efforts, said builders had not obeyed even a single RERA-K ruling. “All such rulings are forwarded to the deputy commissioner for starting the recovery,” he explained. 

A list of 221 cases worth Rs 81.48 crore was forwarded to the Bengaluru Urban deputy commissioner on November 15, he added. This was followed by another list, comprising 283 cases worth Rs 117 crore, on December 9. “Revenue officials such as tahsildars, revenue inspectors and village accountants must be made aware of the need to expedite the recovery process on the orders issued by RERA-K,” Shankar added. 

He also called for setting up a separate recovery wing comprising officials from the revenue department and RERA-K to further expedite the process.

According to Shankar, sections 63 and 64 of RERA are not being currently invoked. Section 63 give RERA authorities the power to impose a penalty of up to 5% of the project cost on developers who have not obeyed the orders of RERA authorities. “The government can get up to Rs 20 crore from each developer if this penalty is levied,” he said. 

After receiving the letter, the deputy commissioner will send one more notice to the developers following the recovery process as per section 40(1) of RERA. The deputy commissioner has to identify the properties of developers and send them notices for attaching the property for recovery. “This is a tedious process which will take at least five years,” he said. 

Asked about the delay in recovery, RERA-K Chairman M R Kamble passed the buck to the revenue department, saying RERA-K has no powers to recover the dues.

“RERA-K is coordinating with the revenue department for recovery and has recovered Rs 1.2 crore from two developers for three projects so far,” he said. 

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