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New panel to approve high-rises

- BDA forms multi-agency body for site inspection

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 15: The development authority has constituted a multi-agency technical committee that will inspect sites proposed for multi-storey buildings before according them approval.

A notification issued by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) said that as facilities such as connecting roads and drains constitute prime infrastructure for multi-storeyed buildings, representatives of various agencies relating to city development would now have a major say in finalising the proposals.

In order to streamline the plan approval process, the technical committee has been constituted with chief engineer-cum-engineering member of the BDA, the director of town planning, the city engineer of the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), the engineer in charge of Khurda and Jatni municipalities, a representative from drainage division, a representative water resources department and the divisional officer concerned of the planning wing of the BDA.

BDA vice-chairman Vishal Kumar Dev said: “According to BDA Planning and Building Standards Regulations-2008 (amended in 2013), the joint site inspection by the technical committee is to be conducted at least five days before the development planning and building planning committee, which takes decision on the plan approval.”

Dev added that the joint inspection by the technical team would facilitate proper development of on-site and off-site infrastructure in respect of sewerage, drainage, water supply and approach roads.

A senior official of the housing and urban development department said: “Though sewerage work and water supply is currently not managed by the civic body, according to the 74th amendment of the Constitution, all the civic amenities and even the planning responsibility would come under the municipal corporation. For that reason, the technical committee includes the city engineer of BMC and not the individual organisations managing sewerage and water supply.”

Urban management practitioner Piyush Ranjan Rout said: “While the municipal corporation happens to manage all the civic services, it is still not controlled by the BMC. The panel should have representatives from the Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Public Health Engineering Organisation for better sewerage and water supply in the emerging areas.”