CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority (TNRERA) has ordered the Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO), a Delhi-based welfare society formed by serving defence personnel, which provides low-cost housing to servicemen and war widows, to register its ongoing housing project in Coimbatore with the TNRERA within 15 days.
The order by TNRERA chairman S Krishnan comes after defence personnel moved the TNRERA for the four-year delay by the AWHO in handing over 496 apartments under Raman Vihar project in Chinnavedampatty village in Coimbatore, for which planning permission from the Directorate of Town and Country Planning was obtained in 2011. The complainant had sought relief, saying that the project, whose completion date was 2014, should be registered under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 in order to enable the allottees to claim compensation for the delay under the Act. Of the 496 apartments, work did not start for 96 apartments.
The project consisted of 32 small family apartments, 64 modern apartments, 96 deluxe apartments, 32 superdeluxe apartments, 48 luxury apartments and 128 row houses. Coimbatore AWHO project director Col S Chakraborthy and counsel R Nanjundan said before the TNRERA that they were eligible to be exempted from the definition of ongoing projects under Rule 2 (h) (iii) of the TN Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules 2017 and contested that the project was undertaken in 2012 before the RERA came into effect.
They also alleged that the case is sub judice as one of the complainants Brig J S Dharmadheeran has lodged a complaint with the National Consumer Redressal Commission in New Delhi. Interestingly, the Local Planning Authority in Coimbatore has denied exemption to the AWHO project, saying that work in five blocks and filtration works have not commenced. Even the club house building is in completion stage and swimming pool and toilet blocks are under construction.
The TNRERA chairman stated that the planning permission was obtained for 496 units and with only 400 units being taken up under the first phase, it merits to be considered as ongoing project and as such, it requires to be registered within three months of the Act coming into force. Since the project was not included for exemption and structural completion of all columns, beams and slabs have not taken place, the Rule 2 (h) iii has not been complied with.
He further noted that since the project did not get included in the list of exempted projects, AWHO should have taken immediate action to represent and ensure inclusion. “It would be inappropriate for TNRERA to direct Commissioner of Town and Country Planning to include the project in the exempted list.
As such the present project is an ongoing one and liable for registration, Krishnan observed.