The project also won the award in the category, ‘innovative use of technology’.

If the building plan approval system across the country gets automated in the near future, the credit would go to the Automatic Building Plan Approval System (ABPAS) developed by the Madhya Pradesh Urban Infrastructure Investment Programme. The ABPAS project implemented in Indore Municipal Corporation hogged the limelight at the 17th national conference on e-governance here on Friday. The project also won the award in the category, ‘innovative use of technology’.

“The Union government has evinced interest in the project. A team from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation that visited the State last month was impressed with the project and wanted to replicate it across the country. Besides, we plan to expand it to all 14 municipal corporations in Madhya Pradesh by this year-end,” said C.U. Roy, the Deputy Director of Communications for Project Utthan under the Madhya Pradesh Urban Infrastructure Investment Programme that implemented the project.

But the going was not smooth as the officials met with stiff resistance from the bureaucracy. It took almost one and a half years for the system to stabilize. Now permission for every building plan in Indore Municipal Corporation has to be routed through the system.

“Earlier there were a lot of complaints before the Lokayukta about building permissions. But now, all details are available digitally and any investigating agency can verify them. The software is so designed that only legal plans get approved,” he said.

When an architect applies for permission with details in the CAD format, the software analyses whether the plan is in compliance with rules. In the event of rejection of the application, the relevant provision is cited and even suggestions are given to make the plan in compliance with existing rules.

The project implemented on a PPP model involved no initial cost as it was based on transactions where the partnering company gets paid for each sq. ft approved through the system. “We have opted for the transaction-model so that the vendor is paid only when the transaction is done through that system. For instance, if a plot of 1,000 sq. ft gets approved through the system, then the vendor gets Rs. 1,000,” Mr. Roy said.

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