CMC eases building sanction rule
Construction of a building up to two-storey high on a plot measuring 200sq m or less can start without an approval from the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC), officials said on Monday.
“A plot owner can avail himself or herself of the benefit only if the building is being constructed for his or her stay. The structure cannot be used for commercial purposes or split into apartments and sold later,” an official of the civic body said.
In the new system, which officials said would kick in soon, licensed building surveyors (civil engineers) or architects whose names will figure on a CMC list will be empowered to sanction the plan of a building that will be up to two-storey high and will come up on a plot not larger than 200sq m, or around 3 cottahs.
The empanelled surveyors and architects will have to submit an undertaking to the CMC that the buildings whose plans they have approved are being constructed in compliance with all civic rules.
“The corporation will conduct an inspection at a later stage and if any violation is noticed, work will be stopped or the structure razed. The building surveyor or architect who has approved the plan will have his or her licence seized,” an official said.
The CMC will check whether the person who has submitted the building plan has the title of the land on which the structure is coming up and whether the plot belongs to one of the categories where construction is not allowed.
“The CMC usually takes a month to approve a building plan. The new rule announced on Monday will speed up the approval process and allow owners to start construction early,” an architect said.
Mayor Firhad Hakim announced the new rule after a meeting of the CMC’s mayoral council, the highest decision making panel of the civic body.
“Buildings with a land area of not more than 200sq m or roughly 3 cottahs can be constructed without waiting for the approval of the CMC. The onus of designing the building according to the building rules and then ensuring that the construction is not deviating from the plan lies on licensed building surveyors,” Hakim said.
Civic officials later said empanelled architects would have the same power and responsibility as building surveyors.
“If we find that a building is not being constructed in accordance with CMC rules, we will cancel the licence of the building surveyor or the architect concerned,” said Hakim.
An official in the CMC said the buildings whose plans an empanelled building surveyor or architect can approve could not be taller than 10 metres, which is usually the height of a two-storey building.
A senior civic official said the rule announced on Monday was part of a series of measures the CMC is taking to make Calcutta more business friendly.
World Bank used to consider only two cities in India — Delhi and Mumbai — while preparing the “ease of doing business” ranking of cities across the world. Now, Calcutta will be considered, too, along with Delhi and Mumbai.
“World Bank’s decision to include Calcutta on the list has triggered a series of measures aimed at improving the ease of doing business in the city,” the official said.
The CMC approves about 2,500 building plans in a year but there are no figures on how many of those are two-storey buildings.