Regulations
Cabinet approves amendments to real estate bill

The bill provides for setting up a Real Estate Regulatory Authority and fast-tracking resolution of disputes through adjudication

 

The union cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval to amendments to the real estate bill which seeks to promote fair play in real estate transactions and significantly reduce scope of fraud and delay.
 
The bill provides for setting up a Real Estate Regulatory Authority and fast-tracking resolution of disputes through adjudication.
 
It provides for registration of real estate projects and real estate agents with the authority and specifies the functions and duties of promoters and allottees.
 
"The union cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today (Tuesday) gave its approval to amendments to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 pending in the Rajya Sabha, and approved amendments proposed in the Bill," said a release from the Prime Minister's Office.
 
It said the bill was "a pioneering initiative" to protect the interest of consumers, to promote fair play in real estate transactions and to ensure timely execution of projects.
 
"The bill provides for a uniform regulatory environment, to protect consumer interests, help speedy adjudication of disputes and ensure orderly growth of the real estate sector," it said.
 
The bill seeks to establish a real estate appellate tribunal.
 
The release said the bill will help achieve the goal of housing for all by 2022, set by the National Democratic Alliance government.
 
"The measures are expected to boost domestic and foreign investment in the sector and help achieve the objective of the government to provide 'Housing for All by 2022', through enhanced private participation," it said.
 
"The bill aims at restoring confidence of the general public in the real estate sector through transparency and accountability in transactions. This will enable the sector to access capital and financial markets essential for its long-term growth," the release said.
 
It said the bill will promote orderly growth through efficient project execution, professionalism and standardisation.
 
Officials said the real estate and housing sector, at present, is largely unregulated and opaque, with consumers often being unable to procure complete information or enforce accountability against builders and developers.
 
They said real estate development and housing construction was largely the concern of state institutions till the 1980s with very few private promoters.
 
The officials said liberalisation of the economy led to growth of the private sector in construction and the sector now contributes significantly to the country's Gross Domestic Product.
 

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NGT bans old diesel cars, Delhi, experts hail decision

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order and asked all the transport authorities concerned to give details of all such vehicles

 

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday banned all 10-year-old diesel vehicles from plying on Delhi roads, a decision welcomed by the state government as well as experts who also called for tightening emission norms along with banning entry of trucks and buses that aggravate the environmental damage.
 
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order and asked all the transport authorities concerned to give details of all such vehicles.
 
The tribunal also asked the agencies concerned to ensure that all entry points into the city have units to check pollution levels, weight and age of vehicle by April 9, lawyer Balendu Shekhar, who represented East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) in the case, told IANS.
 
Welcoming the order, an official of the Delhi government raised the issue of the trucks and buses that enter the national capital every night and are the "main cause behind rising pollution levels".
 
He called for the central government to ensure that such pollution vehicles do not enter Delhi.
 
Environmentalist Vivek Chhattopadhyay saw emission benefits in the NGT order that will "definitely reduce the pollution level" in the city, but hastened to point out the need for tighten emission norms.
 
"By implication, Euro II and Euro I cars, which emit a very high level of pollutants, will be phased out. But what is going unnoticed is the rising growth rate of diesel cars in Delhi," said Chattopadhya, the programme manager at the Centre for Science and Environment.
 
Suggesting a fiscal solution to check this rise, he called for increasing the tax on diesel and advocated for switching to Bharat IV emission norms sooner than the proposed time frame of 2024.
 
"We can't further delay the implementation of the next stage of emission norms here. The more we delay, then what about the new cars that will come on road between now and 2024?" he asked. questioned.
 
The current share of diesel cars in Delhi is about 45 percent, where one diesel car is equal to about seven petrol cars, Chhattopadhyay noted, adding that this gap must be closed with tighter emission norms and equal taxation for both fuels.
 
Appreciating the move made by the green panel, Sumit Sharma, fellow, earth science and climate change at TERI, whoever drew upon the logistical hurdles in enforcing the order.
 
He said the real challenge lay in identifying the age of the vehicles registered with the Delhi transport authority.
 
"The check post at the Delhi border can check the vehicles crossing into the city. But how do we check the ones that are already plying on the city roads," he wondered.
 
Echoing the sentiment, the Delhi government official said equally harmful are the old vehicles registered in the city while garbage burning in the open and the construction dust alos feed the scourge of pollution.
 
Meanwhile, the EDMC lawyer said the bench, giving example of other countries across the globe, said that as they are in the process of prohibiting or have prohibited diesel vehicles by imposing very heavy taxes, it (the NGT) also must take measures to ensure good air quality for residents in and around Delhi.
 
The bench also passed strict orders against any illegal construction activity in and around Delhi.
 
The tribunal had, late last year, banned petrol vehicles over 15 years old in the national capital.
 

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112 proposed as India's single emergency number

To suggestions that existing emergency numbers like 100, 101, 102 and 108 can be retained as secondary numbers, TRAI said calls made to these numbers should be directed to the new single emergency number 112

 

India's telecom regulator TRAI on Tuesday proposed using a single number '112' for all emergency phone calls across the country including for police, fire and ambulance services.
 
"Authority recommends that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for India. This new number may be popularised extensively through a public awareness campaign by the government," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said here.
 
To suggestions that existing emergency numbers like 100, 101, 102 and 108 can be retained as secondary numbers, TRAI said calls made to these numbers should be directed to the new single emergency number 112.
 
Similar to the 911 emergency service in the US, people will be able to make calls on 112 from their phones even if their outgoing call facility has been debarred or the service is temporarily suspended.
 
TRAI also recommended setting up of helplines to handle calls of people in distress.
 
Under the new system, the regulator has asked the government to set up a Response Management System under a Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) which will coordinate for despatch of emergency services.
 

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