Just when we thought that pressure was building up on the builder fraternity due to a stringent Real Estate (Regulation) and Development Bill, the Urban Development Ministry ensured that builders too are able to breathe easy.
Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu has released the reworked building bye laws to ease the process of construction permits and ensure Ease of Doing Business in the construction space. The bye-laws provide for a structural framework which will help in creating an online single window integrated building plan approval process. The bye laws have been revised after a long gap of 12 years.
The idea behind this effort is to completely eliminate human interaction of the applicant with the urban local body and give all kind of building approvals within a maximum period of 30 days. But the catch is, these are not binding on the states as as a norm building bye laws are prepared by the states and are followed by all the urban local bodies.
The first and most important thing that the government has done is to integrate all environmental considerations and builders need not apply for environmental clearances separately. Urban local bodies have been empowered to monitor the environmental concerns and approvals.
The bye-laws provides for three categories of buildings:
a) 5,000 to 20,000 sq mt
b) 20,000 to 50,000 sq mt
c) 50,000 to 1,50,000 sq mt
These categories will get streamlined and faster as the number of approvals required has either been reduced or merged.
Rain water harvesting has also been made mandatory. This will be monitored by a special cell in each Urban local Body. Moreover, the local body can also provide incentives to individuals for rain water harvesting and roof top solar power generation by various mechanisms including discounts and rebate in property tax.
For the first time, a risk based matrix for different types of buildings has been introduced. Small buildings with low risk criteria will get speedy approvals and the high risk buildings like malls, multi-story or big complexes will be made to go through a rigorous examination in the required detail.
The Property Team
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