Buyers can make use of the online facility and check whether the plots they intend to buy are approved. Will this new facility lead to greater transparency at the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority.

The approved layout plans within Chennai Metropolitan Area have been published on the official website of the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) (CMDA Approved Layouts).

At present, layouts approved during January 2000 to September 2009 are available and would be updated regularly. The buyers can make use of the online facility and check whether the plots they buy are approved. This is a long overdue step to improve transparency and protect plot buyers’ interest. “The response of end-users is good as it speeds up matters considerably and it is a landmark in our pursuit of e-governance,” said Susan Mathew, Vice-chairperson of CMDA.

Computerisation

The layout plans are scanned and uploaded. The CMDA also commenced the process of computerisation of layout preparation in the Chennai Metropolitan Area this month. “Four layouts have been prepared using the computerised process till now,” said Ms. Mathew.

Around 15 layouts are being prepared every month. The number of days taken for layout approval will be reduced to two days against the ten days taken earlier, she added.

Now the time taken has been reduced to 6 days but after proper training of the CMDA officials it will take two days on account of the e-governance initiative, said Ms. Mathew. The officials are getting trained in the new computerised system, she added.

A total of 45 layouts have been approved by the CMDA this year. Details of approval of 31 layouts in 2008, 64 in 2007, 139 in 2006, 121 in 2005, 143 in 2004, 142 in 2003, 83 in 2002, 82 in 2001 and 102 in 2000 are available online.

Online hits

The traffic to this website has crossed 6,000 visits within two weeks. The office copy of the approved layout along with the approval number is available online. It contains the total extent of the layout in metres, road area, number of plots, name of the local body, site boundary, proposed road, existing road, regular plots, EWS plots, shop site, convenience shop site and scale of the map.

The details of the approved layout roads available for the lands around the layouts and the availability of public purpose sites, parks and playgrounds would be available online.

However, the users feel that this online facility would be better used if information regarding infrastructure development such as roads, street lights, drainage and storm water drain in the approved areas are also available online.

The CMDA has been consistently taking efforts to make optimum use of e-governance, said Ms.Mathew. The computerisation of planning permission application processing would be done in future, she added.

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