Prodded by the urban development ministry, Kolkata Municipal Corporation has embarked on a project to expedite sanction of building plans.
A key index in the World Bank’s assessment on ‘ease of doing business’, swift sanction of building plans is required in Kolkata and Bengaluru if India has to improve its global ranking. The two cities have recently been added to Delhi and Mumbai for assessing India’s ease of doing business.
“We are revamping the entire system of getting building plans sanctioned to reduce time and hassle. At present, a developer constructing a project whose height is more than 15.5m (51ft) and built-up area exceeding 500sqm (5,400sqft) has to get separate clearances from various government departments — fire services, environment and land (Urban Land Ceiling) — before applying to KMC for plan sanction. In case of environment, one has to again apply for clearance twice, once before and again after the sanction. All this takes up to 18-20 months. We plan to introduce a single window for plan submission and clearance within three to six months,” a KMC building department official said.
According to the proposal, KMC will act as a nodal agency and coordinate with all government departments to seek their individual clearances. “Instead of a customer having to run from one agency to the other, KMC will forward the plan to each agency and seek a preliminary feedback within 10 days. If there is an objection, the agency has to cite the reason. The applicant can then take remedial measure and re-apply,” the official said.
The Union housing secretary had flown down to Kolkata shortly after the city’s inclusion by World Bank and had impressed upon the need to improve the efficiency of building sanction plan to ensure that India’s ranking in ease of doing business did not slip.
KMC has already initiated talks with agencies concerned to streamline the process. Within the KMC itself, the survey and assessment departments have been asked to upgrade their software so that it is in sync with that of the building department. The three other government agencies — environment, land and fire services — have also been asked to upgrade their software and establish links with it. Simultaneously, architects and licensed building surveyors (LBS) are also being trained on the system so that they can accordingly file for plan sanction in future.
Developers welcomed the proposal. Nandu Belani, president of the Bengal chapter of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai), said the move would go a long way in expediting projects.
Source: Times of India