HYDERABAD: In a bid to bring in transparency, avoid delays and check corruption, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has decided to integrate online building approvals with occupancy certificates and property tax assessment.
An experimental study of accepting online applications was started a couple of days ago by the GHMC’s town planning wing. Full-fledged implementation of online clearance would begin in a month as the municipal administration and urban development (MA&UD) department is expected to issue the relevant GO in the next couple of weeks for the initiative.
GHMC officials said once the online application and approval system for building application starts, building permissions would be cleared in 15 days at circle and zonal-level (for buildings up to ground and four floors) and high-rise applications would be cleared in 30 days at the head office-level.
The corporation would use AutoDCR software to scrutinize and approve building permissions. Several municipal corporations like Pune, Chennai, Coimbatore, Thiruvananthapuram, Nagpur and other cities have been using the same software for clearing building applications. The software has been customized to suit building rules in Andhra Pradesh.
Once building drawings and maps are uploaded for approval, the software reads and identifies CAD drawings and maps automatically. It then tells whether they are as per the building rules or not. If the building plan is not according to the rules, it rejects the plan and cites the reasons for denial. The software also generates FSI tables, fee, area statement table and other required data for ready reference.
Sources said there are chances of omissions during manual scrutiny, but the software scrutinizes them without any error and it would also put an end to corrupt practices. After the building plans are approved, emails and SMSs are sent to the applicants automatically.
“Section officers of town planning wing are being provided special mobile phones loaded with the software. Nearly 100 mobiles have been procured .The town planning staff visit the proposed spots for construction and take images of the sites at different stages of construction. These images are uploaded through the mobile phones by attaching them to the respective building files,” GHMC additional commissioner (Planning and Projects) Ronald Rose told STOI.
The additional commissioner said the GHMC has also decided to integrate online permissions for occupancy certificate (OC) after the building is completed with the software. The software will automatically check the latest images and point out whether there were any violations or deviations in the building. Once the OC is issued, the property tax will be assessed for the building.
The GHMC gives building permissions for about 10,000 buildings every year. The town planning staff has been taking several months for giving approvals to non-high rise buildings. For high-rise permissions, the approvals take even six months. “If there is any lapse on the part of the town planning staff, they will be penalized for any delay in approving building plans,” the official said.