Bhubaneswar: Real-estate developers engaging in unethical practices and making false promises will find themselves in trouble as the development authority has decided to stop the practice of conditional approval of building plans.
According to the usual practice, a real-estate developer planning to construct a multi-storeyed apartment in the city has to obtain permission from Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), Sewerage Board, Odisha Fire Services, Airports Authority of India and Archaeological Survey of India depending on the project and its location.
When applying for the building plan approval, Bhubaneswar Development Authority ((BDA) was giving them conditional approval in anticipation that the developers will furnish the required permissions in original from the agencies concerned once the project is over.
But it was found that many builders were violating the conditions and even allowing people to stay in the apartment blocks without depositing the documents.
As a builder has to obtain a no objection certificate (NOC) from BDA before allowing people to stay inside, it was also found that in several cases people had moved in but the apartment had failed to get the required document.
For example, on May 8 this year the director general of Odisha Fire Services wrote a letter to the BDA regarding 126 high-rise structures for which developers had sought initial permission but none had turned up for the final clearance.
According to the new decision, real-estate developers have to furnish the required certificates first before getting the building plan approval.
“We have made it compulsory so that the real-estate developers have to first furnish the certificates and then develop the project,’’ a senior BDA official said.
The decision was taken at the board meeting of the authority yesterday, presided by housing and urban development minister Pushpendra Singh Deo. He said the BDA would be made more people-friendly and plan-oriented.
“The promoters are developing small plots by dividing bigger revenue acres without any proper plan and both the development authority and the civic body are receiving huge numbers of grievance applications due to waterlogging and lack of road and street lights later. We will write to the revenue department not to allow registration of such sub-plots in the plotting schemes unless they are approved by the BDA,’’ Deo said.
He also added a special wing would also start operating on the comprehensive development plan and zonal development plan.
Welcoming the move, D.S. Tripathy, a real-estate developer, said: “Many provisions were there with the BDA but there was lack of implementation. If the BDA is going to help law abiding real-estate developers then people will also be benefited.’’
BDA vice-chairman Krishan Kumar said: “We are committed to issue plan approval strictly within 60 days unless there is some major problem.”
Chandramani Behera, secretary of the Prachi Enclave Residents’ Welfare Association welcomed the BDA decision to regulate urban development right at the grass-roots level.
Parthasarathi Das, a resident of Khandagiri, said: “We always expect the development authority to make the citizens feel its presence in the city. The way the enforcement squad is carrying out the work for the last couple of months will help the city get better urban governance.’’
The board of the development authority also discussed restructuring its enforcement wing. As per the plan, there will be 11 enforcement inspectors to work under an additional commissioner (enforcement) and deputy commissioner (enforcement).
The authority meeting also okayed the proposal for the organisational restructuring of planning and enforcement wing as both are interlinked. While there will be nine town planners for the planning wing, retired police and paramilitary officials will be appointed to strengthen it.