BHUBANESWAR: Real estate developers on Wednesday sharply reacted to Bhubaneswar Development Authority's (BDA's) decision to do away with "conditional approval" of building plans of high-rises before such projects get clearances from various other agencies such as fire department, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Airports Authority of India (AAI).
The developers pointed out that the decision will make the construction process virtually impossible as such clearances take years to be completed.
BDA on Tuesday issued an office order "to streamline the process of building plan approval", which states that "conditional permission shall be restricted to onsite and offsite infrastructure development without main building plan approval" for three-storeyed structures and above.
"We decided to abolish conditional approval for buildings because many builders were raising houses on the basis of such provision, but they failed to get due approval from the agencies concerned," said BDA planning member Pitabasa Sahoo, who issued the order.
Sahoo said whenever a builder applies to the BDA for approval, the agency would scrutinize the documents. If these are found conforming to the (Planning & Building Standard) Regulation-2008, which governs building norms in the city, BDA will communicate the builder to produce the clearances and no objection certificates (NOCs) as required from the agencies concerned. BDA will also inform the agencies about the same. The developers can start construction only after they produce all such clearances and get the final approval from BDA unlike the current practice of starting constructions on conditional approval, he explained.
Builders said the move will make constructing big projects virtually impossible. "Getting the clearances and NOCs take several months and, in some cases, years. It will stop the real estate growth," said Pradipta Kumar Biswasray, president, Real Estate Developers' Association of Odisha. Biswasray said BDA should improve its functioning such as timely issue of building and planning approval and issue of occupancy certificates by adopting a more transparent process, he added.
"Instead of such piecemeal reaction to the problems, BDA should bring comprehensive changes in the regulation to better regulate and enforce the building approval process. Otherwise, it will be difficult to operate," said D S Tripathy, the national joint secretary of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (Credai).
Builders need to get around five or six clearances and NOCs from the civic body, fire department, ministry of environment and forests, Airports Authority of India, National Highways Authority of India, Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority and so on. Sources said the latest BDA decision follows recent audit objections about allowing constructions on "conditional" approval contrary to provisions of building regulation.