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Is RERA focusing on quality of buildings?

June 2019
RERA has recently issued a circular making it mandatory for the engineers of a project to submit a quarterly review on construction quality.

According to Gautam Chatterjee, Chairman, Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRera), this is part of the RERA Act. “The Act mandates that there will be professionals who will oversee a RERA-registered project.” The architect will oversee if the designs and construction are in accordance with the planning authorities’ approvals. The engineer needs to oversee the construction work and the chartered accountant is to ensure fiscal discipline is maintained. “In addition,” he adds, “we have laid down certain laws by which the engineer will be accountable for all industry standards applicable to various input materials used in construction, and will certify that the materials used in construction adhere to the standards laid down.” This documentation will be available in projects in accordance with Section 14 (3), which talks about defect liability after the possession is handed over to the buyer. So after the possession is handed over, if an issue is raised about quality or problematic maintenance, these documents will be available to prove who is to be held accountable.

For his part, Anthony de Sa, Chairman, Madhya Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority, says, “One has to understand the limitations here. Madhya Pradesh RERA is not taking on the responsibility of ensuring quality. We don’t have that kind of expertise in house to monitor and ensure quality in all projects.” But he emphasises that the engineers must report on quality, and the primary responsibility rests with the builder. “In case we receive a complaint and we see substance in it, we can appoint a technical commission to visit the project and check if, in fact, quality has been maintained or not,” he adds. “We can ensure transparency and that the right person in their quarterly report has certified that quality has been maintained.”

In the view of Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Founder & Managing Director, Hiranandani Group and President, NAREDCO, this is a good beginning towards ensuring utmost precision to meet basic quality standards in construction. “It will not only bring awareness among the construction team but create a positive impact on the end-customer towards the safety of the project,” he avers.

For Shabbir Kanchwala, Senior Vice President, K Raheja Corp, quality of construction has been a matter of concern when it comes to building resilient structures. “While assuring transparency and accountability, this initiative will form the basis of effective construction and enable developers to operate at high levels of productivity,” he affirms.

Meanwhile, Pradeep Jain, Chairman, Parsvnath Developers, says, “There is a limitation that this may end up only as a paper exercise unless and until a policy is made for authentication of the same by an outside agency, if not by a RERA team.” And for Deepak Suvarna, Chief Projects Officer, Mahindra Lifespaces Developers, the success of this initiative will depend to a significant extent on the development of a periodic checking mechanism.

One hopes his initiative will further enhance the growth and promotion of a healthy, efficient and competitive real-estate sector.

SHRIYAL SETHUMADHAVAN