To reduce the anomalies and corruption in the Building Branch of UT Estate Office,the Administration,in February,had framed a self-certification scheme.
After five months,however,the scheme is yet to see the light of the day.
The scheme,initially introduced in 2005,had been unable to find any takers as the private architects,who had a major role to play,did not accept certain provisions of the scheme.
Interestingly,only one case has been submitted and cleared under the scheme since its inception.
In February,however,the Estate Office and the Association of Architects held a series of meetings,where certain amendments were suggested to make the scheme more realistic. It was also noted that the scope of the scheme be widened from residential to commercial properties.
The suggestions,however,are still awaiting the Finance department nod. The matter is pending with the Finance department. They have to take a final call, UT Estate Officer R K Rao said.
We got complaints like officials of the Building Branch are not clearing files and building plans or are creating unnecessary hindrances. It was because of these factors that the scheme was amended, a senior official at the UT Estate Office said.
Unlike the existing pattern,where a person who intends to erect/re-erect a residential building,submits the plan to the Estate Office,the new pattern proposed allows the applicant to submit the documents,fee,etc to a private architect,who would check the plan and submit it to the authority. The propsed pattern also applies on commercial buildings,which are excluded from current pattern.
Also,according to the existing pattern,if the Estate Office objects to a particular building plan,the same could be re-submitted in a span of one year from the receipt of objection-order. In the proposed amendment,however,the time limit to clear the objections has been reduced to 15 days and that too,through a registered architect.
Talking about the scheme,Finance Secretary Sanjay Kumar said: We are in the process of finalising the scheme. In fact,there is a meeting scheduled on the issue next week and most probably,we will finalise the scheme then.
Other changes proposed
* For both commercial and residential sites,once the applicant receives no objection he/she can give a weeks notice to Estate Office and start construction.
* In case of an extension of time for construction,beyond the permissible five years,the revalidation period will be one year. At present,the revalidation period is five years.
* Architect will be responsible for completing all the paper-work and obtaining occupation certificate for the building. Thereafter,owner/occupier will be responsible to ensure approval is taken from the competent authority before any changes.
* Harsher punishment for architect/structural engineer/licensed plumber in case they submit a wrong report,or conceal information,while submitting building plans.
* The unauthorised construction will be demolished by the architect at the risk and cost of the owner. In the present system,Estate Office conducts the demolition
Building Branch considered notorious
* The CBI had recently filed a chargesheet against the Branch officials in the controversial Fun Republic case,where the officials allegedly extended favours to a senior Congress leader and management of Fun Republic.
* The CBI also filed a chargesheet against the officials for conniving with members of a group housing society and allegedly indulging in malpractices.