Approval for housing applications to be online: Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: In a major decision to bring about transparency in the housing sector, approvals for housing applications in Delhi will be made online, Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said on Tuesday.

Once successful in the capital, the new mechanism would be put in force in other cities as well, he said, while warning real estate developers not to cheat the consumers.

“I would like to warn (real estate developers) with strict action.They cannot take our consumers for a ride,” Naidu said in Lok Sabha replying to a brief debate on the demand of grant for the housing and poverty alleviation ministry, a charge he also holds.

“The approvals for housing in Delhi will be made online. There will be no person-to-person contact.”

The minster also warned that the builders will face strict action if they fail to meet time schedule given for completion of the housing projects.

“We have received thousands of emails and messages from across the country, from Gurgaon, Noida and other places,” he said referring to consumers getting cheated by real estate developers.

Without taking any name, he also said “a certain cricketer” had appeared in an advertisement for a real estate developer and expressed anguish that the consumers were being cheated by “fly-by-night operators”.

The new online system of clearing applications will be started by May end in Delhi, he said amid cheers up from a section of treasury bench.

The new measure will be replicated in Mumbai and then across the nation, the minister said.

Naidu said that the government has set a target of housing for all by 2022 which is a challenging target.

He said, it requires huge budgetary allocations for which his ministry has approached the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while appealing to the states to send housing project proposals for speedy approval.

There is no discrimination in approving projects of states by the centre, he said.

The house passed the demands for grants rejecting all cut-motions.

Naidu said that the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 has come into effect from May 1 and will help eliminate unscrupulous players who attract the consumers by lucrative hoardings about the housing projects.

In last few months, the minister said 83,000 houses have been approved.