The City Corporation has claimed that the newly introduced online system of application for building permits was efficient and transparent, with little scope for manipulation.

A press note quoting Corporation Secretary K. Biju said 136 of the 643 applications received through the online system had been cleared and permits issued. “While 280 applications were rejected for not being in order, 363 could not be considered because of the failure to produce documents and remit the prescribed fee. Apart from the 25 applications forwarded to the Regional Town Planner and the Chief Town Planner for clearance, there are only 13 left to be disposed of,” it said.

The press note said weekly review meetings were being convened by the Mayor to keep a close tab on the functioning of the online system. “As a result, officials cannot delay files deliberately,” Mr. Biju said in the release. It warned the public to be vigilant against touts demanding money for speedy issue of building permits through the online system.

“The applicant using the online system does not have to pay anything extra. Eligible applications will be disposed of in days without any recommendation or influence. Applicants facing any difficulty can contact the pre-DCR Cell at the Corporation office. On no account should they contact touts or agents. Only building plans prepared by licensed architects, engineers or designers will be considered,” it said.

The Secretary said the Corporation had taken steps to identify and blacklist designers trying to submit irregular plans. “Nobody will be allowed to scuttle the online system,” he added.