BHUBANESWAR: Mired in controversies, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) has decided to incorporate greater transparency through digitisation of files and making them available in the public domain.
It was announced at the 32nd Foundation Day celebration of the BDA on Monday. Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) Minister and BDA Chairman Pushpendra Singhdeo stressed on the importance of streamlining the regulations and legislations to effect better functioning.
BDA has been embroiled in the illegal plot allotment controversy for more than two months now.
Reform measures have been introduced as the BDA has embarked on the process of automating different components under it in three phases. BDA Vice-Chairman Krishan Kumar said their priority was to Housing and Urban Development (H&UD) Minister and BDA Chairman Pushpendra Singhdeo happening again. He added that they will overhaul the system to make it more transparent and accountable.
In the first phase, internal processes will be standardised and mapped. In the second phase, different internal functions will be automated and in the third phase, a digital platform will be created for public. Kumar said the online platform will be designed so that anyone can apply for an allotment or other permissions besides making payments. BDA has already signed an agreement with Axis Bank to develop a payment gateway for the same.
The proposed online overhaul is expected to take a year’s time for completion. Under the proposal, a software will be designed for BDA’s future transactions and old files like occupancy certificates, building plan approval and allotment details that include affidavits and personal details will be digitised. All the details will be gradually made available for public viewing.
H&UD Department Secretary G Mathivathanan stressed that the internal vigilance of BDA should be strengthened to check discrepancies at ground level. BDA officials have proposed to frame independent regulations to address various components like budget, internal audit mechanism, internal monitoring of its functioning and fund management. Currently, BDA has regulations which cover very few sections like building by-laws, finance and allotment.
Lack of adequate financial autonomy is another issue that BDA has been grappling with.
The development authority is required to get State Government’s approval for any project whose cost surpasses `20 lakh. BDA has approached the State Government to introduce amendments in the legislation to enable greater financial autonomy in terms of a higher project cost ceiling and payment procedures.