Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has issued a fresh directive mandating municipal corporations to issue all building permits within a month of application. According to the new rule, a building plan would be automatically sanctioned on the failure to meet the 30-day deadline.
The deadline, which has been made applicable to all cities, including Mumbai, would cover the various stages of building permits, site inspections, and all the no-objections required pre-construction.
The CM-led urban development department issued the fresh directive on July 11.
“The government had previously set a 60-day deadline for issuance of all construction permits. But following a recent assessment of the Ease of Doing Business parameters, the Centre’s Department of Industrial Promotion and
Policy had directed a further revision,” said a senior government official.
In addition to the 30 days for grant of building permits, a civic body would have a week’s time for plinth inspection reports, and another eight days to grant completion-cum-occupancy certificates. The revised maximum time limit for issuance of all construction permits has been fixed as 45 days, said sources.
In another related directive, the government has ruled out the need for a separate permission from the Tree Authority for construction projects across the state where less than 25 trees were proposed to be felled.
As part of the Ease of Doing Business initiative, the state government has delegated all the “functions and powers” of the Tree Authority in such cases to the municipal chiefs.
Sources said the concession would benefit most of the individual building development proposals in the commercial capital and other urban areas in the Mumbai
Metropolitan Region, Pune, and Nagpur, among others, since in most such cases, the number of trees proposed to be felled were less than 25.
Under the provisions of the Maharashtra Urban Areas (Protection and Preservation of Trees) Act, 1975, a permission is required from the Tree Authority of the municipality concerned before felling a tree.
But the CM’s fresh caveat has clipped the Authority’s wings.
The new directives also ruled out the need for a physical site inspection by tree officer if the applicant has provided images of the site and the details of the trees proposed to be felled using an IT-enabled system.
For other cases, the government has set a deadline of 12 days from the receipt of application for the inspection and invitation of public notice over the proposal of tree felling.
In all cases, the inspection report would have to be made available online without 48 hours of the site visit.
While green activists might criticise the measure, senior government sources said the move was part of the government’s exercise to switch to a risk-based approval system for building permissions to fast track permissions.
World Bank’s reports in 2014 and 2015 had ranked the approval system for grant of construction permits poorly over the time taken for issuance and the number of steps required to do so.