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Corporation simplifies building plan approval process


An applicant submitting his application form seeking building plan approval at the Town Planning Department section of the Coimbatore Corporation main office.

In a bid to speed up the building plan approval process and ensure transparency the Coimbatore Corporation plans to introduce a single window system. The Corporation gives approval for buildings with maximum 4,000 sq.ft built-up area. It introduced the auto DCR (automatic scrutiny of Development Control Rules) in May 2008 and has approved 8,000 plans so far through this system. Manual approvals were stopped completely from November last year.

Corporation Commissioner Anshul Mishra told The Hindu Property Plus that applicants seeking building plan approvals need not visit the respective zonal offices any more. The entire approval process would be centralised with the single window system proposed on the Corporation premises.

An applicant should visit the Corporation Main office – Town Planning Section where he would be helped, if need be, in drawing up his building plan as per rules and could avail himself of free scrutiny of the application. He would be given a provisional approval. The applicant should then visit the Indian Overseas Bank, near the main office, and remit the required fee.

The applicant should submit the receipt for the same at the Town Planning Section along with the mandatory documents to get the approval of the same. There would be no field inspection if the site or layout was approved by the Corporation.

On according the approval, the site would be inspected within 30 days. In the event of any misinformation or factually incorrect declarations, the building plan approval would be cancelled and severe action would be initiated against the applicant.

The entire system was on a trial basis now. It was expected to reduce the delay in obtaining plan approvals.

Under the new system, the Corporation also proposed to streamline the online application and approval system gradually. The officials were considering having a panel of authorised Licensed Building Surveyors (LBS) at the Town Planning Section of the Corporation. This is expected to be in place after a month or so. The LBS panel members would help prepare the plan drawing for those who wanted to make use of the service. The applicant would have to pay a stipulated consultation fee to the LBS. This would help bring down the extent of deviation/violation. The applicant should bring the ownership documents relating to the land.

The Commissioner added that the Corporation had inducted as many as 28 bill collectors after intensive training. These bill collectors would be equipped with a hand held machine that would assess the property tax and the data would be automatically fed into the server since it was an online mechanism. The bill collectors using the hand held machine could also instantly collect the property tax and water charges and issue receipt. The security features of the machines were being studied to make it fool proof since it involved the credit card and debit card usage. In due course, there would be 72 bill collectors and 72 hand-held machines for each ward, he said.

Mr. Mishra also said people could avoid visiting zonal offices and the applicant should come directly in a bid to eliminate middle men. In the event of the applicant coming through an LBS, then the LBS should have an authorisation from the applicant. The application should have the photo of the applicant besides site photographs. The plan approval order would be sent only by Registered Post with Acknowledgement Due to avoid corrupt practices in the event of the applicant being asked to come and collect it in person.


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