CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority has rejected an exemption granted to a developer to not register with the authority after it was found that the project for which he had two different approvals was structurally incomplete. The project Serene Kshetra, developed by Adinath Srinivas Foundation got approvals from Kanchipuram Local Planning Authority (KLPA) and deputy director of Town and Country Planning for residential layout project and group housing project at Valluvapakkam and Natampettai villages respectively as two sites of the project adjacent to each other fell in different revenue villages.
TNRERA took up the complaint after 11 allottees of the project objected to the project being wrongly listed as a ‘structurally completed’ project in the list prepared by DTCP which thus excluded it from the definition of ‘ongoing projects’ under Tamil Nadu Real Estate (Regulations and Development) Rules, 2017.
It was found that the developer, had informed the Kanchipuram Local Planning authority on July 4, 2017 that eight houses, 28 twin houses and 21 row houses for Economic Weaker Section out of the 15 individual houses, 40 twin houses and 21 row houses approved had been constructed. Among these, 43 are structurally completed. Similarly, under the Group housing project which comes under DTCP, the developer claimed 99 of 147 row houses project were structurally completed.
The developer had registered the incomplete portions under two planning approvals as two separate projects which was opposed by the allottees who had approached RERA. Interestingly, the developer stated that exemption obtained for structurally completed phases of Serene Kshetra was bonafide and TNRERA was not empowered under the Act to examine its legality. He also stated that since the project was not registered with TNRERA, the authority lacked jurisdiction to entertain the plaint.
However, the TNRERA chairman observed that inclusion in a list under TNRERA cannot take away the powers of the authority to examine whether a project is required to be registered and whether inclusion under the list is correctly reported.
The chairman said structure completion is claimed for certain portions in the two pieces of land for which developer had two approvals. “The attempt is to further split the two distinct phases into sub-phases with a portion of the project covered under both the planning approvals getting registered with RERA while other portions of both planning approvals are sought to be exempted as structurally completed projects,’ it was observed.
“It is fairly clear that only portions of the intended development under layout development approval; and group housing development approval have been completed. Hence ‘structurally completed’ status to the whole project or even to either one of the two phases is neither warranted nor contemplated under the provisions of the act,” the chairman said.
Real estate approvals
TNRERA has the powers to examine a project for its compliance even if it does not come under its purview. A project developed as integrated and comprehensive project with dual approvals can be recognized as two phases but it can’t be split into sub-phases.