Housing minister says online building approval system to cover 500 cities in next one year
Housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that all the 500 cities covered under Atal Mission for Urban Rejuvenation (AMRUT) will introduce online building approval system in the next one year. Currently, this facility for citizens is available only in Delhi and Mumbai where the period for sanctioning building plan has reduced to 60 days. “We are working towards introducing the facility in all the identified cities in the next few months. Bringing down the approval to two months is a good sign considering what people had to face to get their plans sanctioned after visiting different government offices again and again,” Puri told the reporters.
Under the online system, an applicant just has to fill one centralised form and the application is automatically forwarded to the agencies concerned like the municipality, water supply agency and fire department. Since there is no physical interaction between the applicant and government officials, there is hardly any scope of paying a bribe.
“The agencies concerned have to approve or give the reason for not approving the plans. This system is transparent. The online system minimises hassles that people face. States like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have delegated the power of giving environmental clearance for buildings up to certain coverage area to local authorities. We expect more states will follow suit,” said a housing ministry official.
Since the online building permit system started in Mumbai, the number of procedures from beginning to the end has been reduced from 42 to only eight and in Delhi, these have come down from earlier 29 procedures to only eight. Similarly, the number of days for completing the process has been reduced to 60 in both cities in comparison to the earlier practice of nearly six months in Mumbai and over seven months in Delhi.