Shady builders take Rera-K for a ride

Shady builders take Rera-K for a ride

How often have your letters or e-mails bounced? Occasionally, you might say. But in the case of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority-Karnataka (Rera-K), that has happened more than 700 times. 

The authority had shot off these letters and e-mails to addresses published by builders in newspaper/magazine advertisements. 

According to Latha Kumari K S, secretary, Rera-K, it’s a well-established practice at the authority to seek details whenever it learns about a real estate project, whether old or new. The idea is to ensure the projects conform to the rules and buyers are not cheated. 

Rera-K had sent notices to builders, seeking details about 1,787 projects. It received replies about only 1,050 projects. There is just no word about the rest. “We want the address proof of builders and details of their projects,” Kumari said. 

Officials have noted that some of the unverified projects are 10 years old or were listed in 2010 and 2012 or even earlier. Rera-K received satisfactory replies only about 656 out of 1,046 projects. 

While there is no deadline for projects to register, Rera-K is mandated to establish contact with builders. “Even if a project is old and a notice has been served, the builder must come forward and explain their stand so that their name is removed from the list of ‘Projects under investigation’,” Kumari said. 

This apart, Rera-K is hiring staff to do a reality check. “We are 45 people, all in Bengaluru. We want to have our own vigilance team consisting of revenue and police officers. This will help us verify projects across Karnataka,” Kumari added. 

At the same time, Rera-K is holding talks with urban local bodies as well as urban development and revenue departments to integrate the data of all real estate projects. This will help find out which project is not yet registered. 

“The challenge is to create awareness among builders. During the hearings, we have found out that many builders assume they need not register projects that were announced before Rera-K came into force (in 2017),” Kumar explained. “That is not the case. Every project of more than 500 square metres or eight dwellings must register with Rera.”