Constitution of Building Ombudsman for Hyderabad sign now

Sub: Constitution of Building Ombudsman for Hyderabad

We the undersigned hereby petition the honorable chief justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court to accept this as Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to ensure the constitution of building ombudsman as per the provision made in G.O. Ms. No. 86 dated 3rd March, 2006.

Government of Andhara Pradesh, in 2006, through G.O. Ms. No. 86 dated 3rd March, 2006, brought revised building rules called Common Building Rules by Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department for Municipal corporation of Hyderabad and other urban development authority. Under that rule section 22 (Enforcement section) following things are mentioned.

Section 22 , B : Constitution of Town Planning and Building Tribunal
Section 22, C : Constitution of Building Ombudsman

Even after 4 and 1/2 years the rule came into effect still government has not constituted these 2 bodies, Town Planning and Building tribunal, Building Ombudsman.

I want to bring into notice to honorable Andhra Pradesh High Court, about the problems flat/house buyers are facing in Hyderabad. The buyer after paying the money feel helpless and can not do anything if Builder fails to deliver the things as promised.

After economic slowdown in 2008 and Separate Telangana state issue, the building activities in Hyderabad slowed down. Many builders stopped their project in middle and run away with buyers money. Others who are finishing up project, they delayed the construction and quality of construction is also lower than the promised in specification. In these cases where builder is not completing the housing project or delivering low quality buildings, the buyers are feeling helpless and not able to do anything against builder.

If the government could have acted fast and constituted these bodies, it would have been easier for house buyers to get their issues resolved. The AP government under pressure from Builder Lobby is intentionally delaying the constitution of these two bodies to regulate the builders.

I request honorable AP High Court to ask government of Andhra Pradesh to set a timeline to constitute Building Ombudsman and Town Planning and Building Tribunal.

On September 26th Times of India newspaper published a report on the same.
Link of the news paper article.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Whither-building-ombudsman/articleshow/6626790.cms

Here is the extract of the news article.
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Whither building ombudsman?
Harie, TNN, Sep 26, 2010, 04.30am IST

HYDERABAD: The much-awaited 'building ombudsman' is still far away from becoming a reality as the state government is believed to be under pressure from a strong lobby in the construction industry not to proceed further.

The state government promised to constitute the office of a 'building ombudsman' when it framed the Revised Building Rules-2006 (GO Ms No 86) in March 2006 and again in GO Ms No. 678 in September 2007. Except for making a provision in the GOs, no subsequent action has been initiated
to put the ombudsman in place.

The building ombudsman, a quasi-judicial authority, is meant to deal with complaints of building violations, shortfall in building standards, specifications and safety aspects.

The appointment of an ombudsman could begin a new chapter in safeguarding the interests of property buyers who are repeatedly taken for a ride by builders bent upon deviating from the sanctioned plan of construction.

More than four years have elapsed since the proposal was mooted, but the government has not yet worked out the procedure, role and details of the functioning of the building ombudsman, official sources in the Municipal Administration and Urban Development department said.

"This is an enabling provision that we have incorporated in the Revised Building Rules. But, yes, we have not proceeded further on the proposal," atop official of the MAUD department admitted.

The ombudsman would have helped the authorities in dealing with illegal constructions effectively
besides regulating construction activity in urban areas, he added.

Apart from the building ombudsman, the government also wanted to constitute a Town Planning and Building Tribunal to deal with all town planning, enforcement and building issues by making necessary amendments to the AP Urban Areas (Development) Act, 1975. "This proposal too
did not move any further," the MAUD sources said.

The need for a building ombudsman has become all the more relevant in the wake of the latest controversy arising out of the GHMC's move to impose a 200\% penalty on violators. This had resulted in a standdoff between between GHMC officials and corporators wherein the latter opposed
any kind of penalty either on the builder or property owner.

Meanwhile, MAUD minister Anam Rama Narayana Reddy said that the process of putting in place a 'building ombudsman' was underway and a formal announcement would be made once it materialised. "The state government is working on the modalities of this quasi-judicial authority. The process is underway. Once ready, this will go a long way in protecting aggrieved buyers and also regulate real-estate activity," he said.

It is high time the government gave a serious thought to put these bodies in place as they would go a long way in regulating the real-estate activity as well as protecting the interests of the buyers.

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The Honorable Chief Justice of High Court of Andhra Pradesh, India

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