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Code to curb illegal building

- New by-laws to pave path for planned and safe homes

Patna, Dec. 19: Bye-bye to concrete eyesores. Get set for planned real estate development. The state’s maiden building by-laws are in the making.

Officials in the urban development department are busy these days giving final touches to the proposed Bihar municipal building by-laws and building code. Aimed at regulating building construction activities, it is likely to be tabled before the cabinet in January.

Urban development department secretary S. Siddharth told The Telegraph on Wednesday: “We are in the process of giving finishing touches to the proposed building by-laws and building code. We want to forward it to the state cabinet at the earliest so that it is approved in any of its meeting in January next year.”

The proposed Bihar municipal building by-laws and building code have been prepared exercising the power conferred by the sections 321 and 328 of the Bihar Municipal Act, 2007. It would regulate construction activities in terms of land use, coverage (land used for construction), floor area ratio, open space, height, number of floors and parking standards.

The enactment of the building by-laws and building code has become essential after the urban development department on December 13 imposed a blanket ban on approval of maps for any multi-storeyed building over the height of 11m till the new law came into effect. According to sources, the ban was imposed after the department received a large number of complaints related to irregularities in building construction in various cities, including the state capital.

The proposed building by-laws state that the absolute height of a building should not exceed 1.5 times the sum of the width of the road adjacent to the property and the front open space. There are several other norms also. (See graphic)

Till date, the regulations for restricting the height of buildings were prescribed in the byelaws of erstwhile Patna Regional Development Authority (PRDA). R.S. Chaudhary, the former chief town planner at the urban development department, said: “After the PRDA was abolished, the Bihar Municipal Act, 2007 stated that its by-laws would be in effect till the state constituted new building by-laws.”

The developers welcomed proposed building by-laws. “The present laws are very old. Several proposed provisions, including those for multiplexes, multi-parking, tradable development rights (rights for transferring unused floor area ratio to another development) are in line with the current trends of development,” said Sachin Chandra, the president of Patna chapter of Builders’ Association of India.