Developers across the country have one common bone of contention and that is the delay in getting approvals from government authorities. Approvals can take months to years, with projects remaining stalled in the process. But the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai seems determined to change this as part of its moves to improve Ease-of-Doing Business. For instance, they have started an auto-DCR system through which they have taken the entire building approvals system online. We list the top 7 ways life has gotten easier under this new system.
1) From the 15th of May 2016, the BMC will not accept a single building proposal offline. The idea is to reduce human intervention in the process and increase transparency in a system notorious for its red tape and corruption.
2) The BMC also plans to map all under construction buildings using Geographic Information System (GIS). Developers are expected to upload the clippings of their under construction buildings onto the site and the BMC can track them to ensure that they are being built according to plan.
3) The BMC has integrated all 14 of its departments including the Fire, Traffic and Garden departments onto the online system. Developers will not have to approach all these 14 departments separately and can instead file a single-application to get all necessary approvals.
4) Even departments which fall outside the BMC’s ambit will be integrated into the system. BMC has already managed to integrate the Civil Aviation and National Monument Authority (NMA) into the system and efforts are on integrate other agencies such as Maharashtra Housing Development Authority (MHADA) and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) among others.
5) Fixed timelines have been mandated for approvals. In earlier cases, departments could take up to a year to give its approvals, but now that timeline has been reduced to just 60 days. This is a huge relief for both the developer community as well as homebuyers.
6) Citizens can now use a special tab on the website called ‘Citizen’s search’ to search through the 1.7 lakh building proposals posted online. Using various search parameters, they can now monitor the progress of their project, track approvals and also see why certain approvals may have been declined by the BMC.
7) The BMC also plans to rate the various developers in the city as well as their architects based on their track record. This can help home buyers identify the best performing builders and confidently choose to invest in their projects
With so much information available at the click of a button, the BMC hopes this will improve transparency and bring down Right to Information (RTI) queries by at least 30-35%. Of course, much depends on this software being used properly without any technical hiccups.
Reporter : Ashwini Priolker, NDTV
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas, NDTV