RESIDENTS CONTINUE to face harassment at the hands of the UT estate office staff as the deadline set for approval of building plans remains on paper only. Over the years, officials of building branch have been facing criticism from general public for taking long time in according approvals to the building plans. To cut down on the time taken in approving the building plans, the estate office on February 10 issued an order specifying time period in which building plans need to be sanctioned. The estate office had set a deadline of four weeks for houses below 2 kanals and five weeks for houses above 2 kanals from the date of receipt of plan.
As per the order, the SDO (building) is responsible for getting the plan scrutnised from members of Plan Advisory Committee (PAC) within one week after receiving the plan. Each member has to scrutinise and return the plan to the estate office with their recommendations within a period of two weeks. The release of plans is the responsibility of SDO (building) headquarters. Surinder Bahga, a city-based architect, complains that the deadlines are not being followed and the officials are taking three to four months in sanctioning the plans. “The residents are made to run from pillar to post for getting the plans approved. The current system has proved ineffective,” said Bahga.
It took Bahga over one year to get building plan of Red Cross Bhawan approved. He had to toil hard for eight months for getting approved the building plan of a house in Sector 9, which was sanctioned in August. The building plan of SBI house has been pending for the past six months. When contacted, UT assistant estate officer Varinder Chaudhary attributed the delay in approving the building plans to technical reasons. “At present, the building plan approvals are getting delayed due to a lengthy process. Each plan goes through different officials, which takes time,” he said, adding that they were committed to bringing down the time being taken in sanctioning the plans.
To streamline the process and reduce the time taken in approving the plans, the estate office is in the process of starting an online service of approving building plans. The estate office is getting a software developed which will be used for scrutinising the plans submitted for approval. At present, applicants have to submit the building application along with prints of drawings, which are processed manually. For bringing uniformity in existing building bylaws, the Chandigarh Administration is all set to introduce uniform building code on the pattern of Haryana. A committee has been constituted to study the pattern of the building code framed by the Haryana government.