Bhubaneswar: In a breather to the thousands of lakhs of flat / apartment owners in the State, Odisha Government has proposed amendment to the age-old Odisha Apartment Ownership [OAO] Act, 1982, where the grievances and issues pertaining the owners will be addressed under a specific forum, besides, making the registration process of apartments hassle-free and least cumbersome.
The amended act, to be moved in the next session of the Assembly, aims to protect the interests of apartment owners in the state, sources in the Government revealed.
“Unlike the earlier provisions, where only multi-storeyed apartments were under the purview of the act, now all types of residential housing projects including duplex and simplex under a ‘Group Housing Scheme’ developed by private developers will also be included,” Umesh Patnaik of Association for Odisha Real Estate Developers [AFORD] said to Gharabari.com.
“Earlier the housing societies exists only for welfare activities of members and also instances are there where even parallel societies exists in one place, which create a lot of conflicts, but this is going to be addressed now with the Government intending to bring in amendment act in the coming winter session of the assembly,” he said.
Besides, in the past, Additional District Magistrate [ADM] were entrusted the task of resolving the disputes arising in a society of flat owners. But due to their hectic schedule, they were hardly been able to concentrate to resolve their issues. Now, the to-be-amended law will take care of these issues, as an officer of deputy collector rank would be appointed for the purpose, according to Sri Patnaik.
The amended act would also have higher penalty for violation of the Act, which could go up to a maximum of Rs 1 lakh, as being decided by the state cabinet being held on Saturday here.
“The modified form of OAO Act will elevate the flat owners to a better level and redeem the cumbersome operations pertaining to registration , as was carried by the earlier apartment societies,” said P K Biswasroy, President Real Estate Developers Association [REDA] Odisha to Gharabari.com on Monday.
The amended OAO act will ease the formation of housing societies, make owners accountable of their responsibilities, define the responsibility of office bearers in a society, do away with parallel societies (law does not recognize parallel society) and would help ultimately in availability of better amenities flat owners,” he said.
In a much-anticipated move, the Odisha cabinet also on Saturday approved the proposal to enact a special law to check the rising land grabbing cases through an ordinance (as there is no assembly session at present) among a host of decisions.
Speaking on the anti-land grabbing measures to be implemented by the Odisha Government the REDA President said, “Henceforth, the grabbing of government land will be taken as a criminal offence and the stricter penalty norms will curb the rising menace of land-grabbing in the state.”