Govt likely to simplify building plan approval

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Bengaluru: After much dilly-dallying, the state government has initiated steps to simplify the process of building plan approval.

The Urban Development Department has published the draft Karnataka Municipal Corporations Common Building Bye-Laws 2017, which proposes self-certification of building plans. In other words, a certified professional – architect, engineer or structural consultant – will be able to issue clearances to start construction of low-rise residential and industrial buildings.

This is one among many reforms the government has planned through bye-laws, the draft of which dated July 11, was up for public scrutiny. If approved, they will be applicable to 11 city corporations across the state, including Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

The government wants to streamline the process of building plan approvals to enable ease of doing business. Simplifying building plan approvals is part of model building bye-laws circulated by the Centre to all states last year.

According to the draft bye-laws, all civic bodies will have to put in place an online system so that submission of application and approvals are done virtually. Approval from other agencies has to be integrated with the online system through a common application form. “The system will help because getting a building plan approved is a very time-consuming process and people face harassment,” Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) Mahendra Jain said.

Onus on owner, certifier

A residential building with ground floor plus three floors (G+3) on a plot measuring not more than 500 sq m and an industrial building less than 15 metres in height on a plot up to 350 sq m qualify for self-certification. All one has to do is submit documents and pay the fee to the civic body. “One need not go to local bodies for plan approvals,” Jain said.

The building owner and the certified professional will be held responsible for any violation found during scrutiny later, as per the draft. The self-certification will be applicable to low-rise units to begin with. “We will consider extending this to high-rises if the system works well,” he said.

Also, the process will be fast-tracked by risk-based categorisation of building proposals.

For instance, a G+5 floors residential building will be considered ‘high risk’ and its plan will be approved by the civic body only after full scrutiny. The draft also lays down specific timelines for local bodies to issue building approvals, ranging from 10-30 days depending on the risk classification of buildings. The process takes anywhere between 30 and 180 days at present.

Clearances from at least six agencies – National Monuments Authority, Environment ministry, Defence ministry, Coastal Zone Management Authority, National Highways Authority of India and Railways – will be integrated with the zoning regulations of Master Plans, which authorities hope will simplify the process further.


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