Rajahmundry: Builders get relief as civic body eases rules

Rajahmundry: AP builders are happy lot as they do not have to wait for their building plan to be approved by authorities. This follows a representation to  Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu recently in Visakhapatnam by AP Credai seeking his intervention to solve inordinate delay in getting post-approval inspection as well as Occupancy Certificate. A new memo has been issued by the State Government to check delays and facilitate the building process.

In compliance with Ease of Doing Business policy of the Central government, the State Government has issued a memo (No. 800211/H2/2017) to the department of municipal administration and urban development recently. To avoid inordinate delay in the conducting of post approval inspection and issuing of Occupancy Certificate, the State Government has proposed to make changes in its existing procedure of uploading building plans and getting approvals. 

As per the new procedure, once the building plan is uploaded in AutoCAD and if the plan is in conformity with building by laws approved by the government, the applicant will get a payment advice to get approval for the building plan. Once the payment is made, the plan appr-oval will be given immediately. Now the concerned town planners are supposed to inspect the site and carry out post-approval inspection.

At present, though builders submit building plans in Town Planning wing in the urban local bodies, there is a long delay in getting post-approval inspection. For instance, in Rajahmundry Municipal Corporation alone, over 600 applications are pending for getting post-approval inspection. This results in a section of builders deviating from the approved plans and taking up construction of buildings.

When the town planners inspect the site, the construction of the building is either in progress or already completed. Inevitably, the planners find fault with the construction and this paves the way for bribes and corruption to clear the building project. The quantum of bribe demanded depends upon the scale of deviation from the approved plan. 

The memo issued by the State Government now will address this issue. As per the memo, if the town planners fail to complete post-approval inspection within 10 days, then the inspection is deemed to have taken place. In case of any discrepancies found during the construction of buildings, the concerned town planners will be taken to task. Similarly, with regard to the issue of Occupancy Certificate, the concerned authorities have to inspect the completed buildings and issue the OC within eight days. If they fail to do so, from the ninth day onwards, the applicant can download the OC anytime, provided the construction of the building was done as per the norms.

Previously, builders had alleged that even to get an OC, they were forced to wait for a long time and had to also bribe the concerned officials to get it early.

The memo also directed the director of Town and Country Planning, commissioners of ULBs and vice-chairmen of Urban Development Authorities in the state to comply with the new norms scrupulously and warned severe action if there was any deviation from the plan.

 The memo further instructed DTCP to instruct their software developers to accommodate new changes in the software application for the benefit of applicants.

Credai Rajahmundry Unit General Secretary V. Bhima Sankara Rao said, “The memo is very much beneficial for all the builders and customers as they need not wait for months to get post-approval inspection of building plans and Occupancy Certificate for completed buildings as they will be issued in just a few days. The issue of deviations from approved plans and the demand for bribe will be under check.”

The builders are also happy as they feel that the escalated price of a flat was largely due to the huge amounts of bribe they had to pay government officials. If this was sorted, they could give the benefit of the cost drop to the customers.

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