The Telegraph
Saturday , May 10 , 2014
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Haze on house plan approval resumption
- Commissioner empowered to clear maps, developers in dark

The civic body has resumed the process of building plan approval after a hiatus of over a year, but not a single proposal has landed yet.

The Patna municipal commissioner, Kuldip Narayan, has been recently empowered to approve the plans comprising maps of buildings following recommendation from the empanelled architects of the civic body. Earlier, the architects themselves cleared the building plans and submitted their copies to the civic body.

Almost a year after, the state urban development and housing department authorised the municipal commissioner to sanction building plans through the Bihar Municipal Competent Authority for Sanction of Building Plan Rules, 2014 issued on April 7. It states, “Chief municipal officer shall verify, enquire and satisfy himself before the sanction of a building construction plan that it is in conformity with the provisions of the Building Byelaws and other parameters required under this act. After due verification and completion of the enquiry process, the chief municipal officer shall sanction the building plan.”

Confirming the development, Patna municipal commissioner Narayan said the civic body had not received any application so far. “In adherence to the newly enforced rules, we are open to receive application for approval of building plans. The empanelled architects would vet and recommend the maps to the town planning cell of Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC). The cell, after reviewing and verifying the map, would forward it to me for final approval,” said Narayan, claiming that the approvals would be given in pursuance of the building byelaws of the erstwhile Patna Regional Development Authority (PRDA).

Developers were not impressed, though. “PMC is not giving the forms for applying for planning reports — a document related to land usage information required for building plan approval. How can we apply for building plan approval when the planning report is not being issued?” asked Sachin Chandra, state chairman, Bihar chapter, Builders’ Association of India.

The civic body did not approve any new building plan since December 13, 2012 after the then urban development and housing minister, Prem Kumar, issued a notification imposing a ban on approval of maps for any multi-storeyed building more than 11m high till the new building byelaws came into effect.

The civic body in May 2013 stopped sanctioning plans for any new project in the wake of the high court order given on May 10 in the Narendra Mishra case, which envisaged a blanket ban on construction of any multi-storeyed building over the height of 11m on roads less than 20-foot-wide.