Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Centre asks state to ease building permission process

Municipal corporations should have a single window system to issue building permissions for 'ease of doing business'. And online permissions would be much better. The ministry of urban development has made these suggestions to state governments, and asked them to issue directions to the municipal corporations accordingly.

The ministry, in its advisory issued earlier this month cited the World Bank's report on 'Doing Business 2014', in which India ranked 183 of the 189 countries when it comes to dealing with construction permits. The advisory said that to secure a building permission, a large number of clearances have to be taken for construction projects that result in unnecessary delays in the project's completion, which has implications on the cost. "This is a matter of deep concern especially when we are encouraging large scale investments in real estate sector,'' the advisory notes.

At an inter-ministerial meeting, held in February to discuss "ease of doing business'', it was decided that procedures should be streamlined to issue clearances from various ministries like environment and forest, defence, and civil aviation within one month after receiving the application from the real estate developer. The advisory said that the municipal corporations should facilitate clearances from the concerned ministries or other agencies of the state government. "Urban local bodies and state urban development departments should make provision for single window clearance, preferably online, for developers or a construction project,'' the ministry has said and noted the work has to be done in tune with Prime Minister's vision of 'Make in India', wherein fast track approval and transparency for construction projects should be ensured to push India's ranking in 'ease of doing business' to the top 50.

Significantly, the ministry also pointed that many cities including Pimpri Chinchwad, Nagpur, Mumbai, Faridabad, Hyderabad and Surat have already taken an initiative to issue only building permits. The online citizen service for issuance of construction permits can be done in other cities and states with computerization and automation.

Civic bodies asked to examine these possibilities:

  1. If physical inspection of a proposed construction site is required, then the date may be fixed and communicated to the applicant.
  2. Requirement of "commencement notice'' (that is commencement of construction building work) may be reexamined. It can be either done away with, or coupled with some other existing procedure.
  3. Merging of "completion certificate'' and "occupancy certificate" for simplification.
  4. PMC has online facility for issuing building permissions for individual owners, developers or site engineers. The applicants need to register themselves for online facility at the city engineers' office or ward offices. However, there is no information booklet on documents required.
  5. PCMC also has an online facility for issuing building permissions with an elaborate booklet on the procedures, and the documents required, and the development charges for residential and commercial properties. If the application has all documents, the building permission would be granted in 15 days, says PCMC.

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