Madurai and Coimbatore would soon have a planning authority on the lines of the CMDA (Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority), said Tamil Nadu Housing and Urban Development Principal Secretary Surjit K. Chaudhary.

Speaking to reporters after presiding over a review meeting of Madurai region here on Tuesday, he said that a proposal to establish such an authority in the two cities had been sent to the Government for approval.

With urban development taking place at a fast pace, such an authority would not only facilitate people to obtain building plan approvals and licences quickly, but also show the government’s commitment towards development of tier-II cities. By these measures, the public would ultimately be benefitted.

Following complaints from applicants about delay in getting plan approvals and licences for buildings, Housing Minister Parithi Illamvazhuthi and Chief Secretary K. Sripathi had directed him to look into them, he said. As a first step, Mr. Surjit said, he had visited Coimbatore region (Coimbatore, Erode, Tirupur) last month and after a review of the applications received by the authorities, a drive was conducted. On Tuesday, over 80 per cent of the pendency was cleared, he added.

In Madurai region (Madurai, Dindigul, Theni and Virudhunagar), pending applications were categorised under special buildings, layout and reclassification categories. Applications which were pending for over six months, over 45 days and over 30 days were also examined.

For instance, in Madurai, out of 83 pending papers, 65 were cleared, while the balance would be examined by officials and disposed of swiftly. One paper was pending for over six months, he noted.

In a bid to ensure that applicants had filled the applications properly, a check list would be provided to them, Mr. Surjit said. Licensed surveyors and architects were also being told to adhere to the check-list.

LPA funds

The Local Planning Authority in the State-level collected Rs. 150 crore annually towards infrastructure development and amenity charges. However, it had come to light that the authorities in LPA, Madurai, had not collected the charges from new apartment builders, which alone accounted for Rs. 19 crore.

The TN Commissioner (Town and Country Planning) Ashok Dongre would inquire into the non-collection of infrastructure and amenity charges by the Local Planning Authority, Madurai. “It is a loss of revenue and action will be taken against erring officers,” he said.

The New Town Development Authority (NTDA) functioning at Palkalai Nagar near here would be merged with the Madurai LPA.

Collector N. Mathivanan, Mr. Dongre and Assistant Collector (Training) Rohini Ramadas participated.

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