Till now, they could approve plans for houses up to 2,000 sq.ft. and commercial buildings up to 1,000 sq.ft. only, writes K.V. Prasad
The Department of Housing and Urban Development has raised the ceiling on the square feet of plans of buildings that can be approved by local bodies (corporations, municipalities, town panchayats and village panchayats).
In an order issued late last month, the department announced that the new order would take effect on June 1 this year. However, the Coimbatore Corporation said that it had only come to hear of it but not an order. Official sources said it could be issued to the local bodies in a week.
The order from the department was said to have been circulated internally in the urban development and town planning wings across the State. Due orders were expected from the Department of Municipal Administration and Water Supply to the local bodies.
The order said local bodies could approve plans for residential buildings upto 4,000 sq.ft. The plans could be for a single house or a group of four houses totally measuring up to 4,000 sq.ft.
The local bodies so far had powers to approve plans for only up to 2,000 sq.ft. for residential buildings and 1,000 sq.ft. for commercial structures. Plans for bigger buildings had to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) that came under the Directorate of Town and Country Planning.
“The new order will reduce the burden on the LPA,” Town Planning Officer of the Coimbatore Corporation M. Soundararajan said. Asked how much the workload on the Corporation would increase, the official said the civic body had been used to processing and clearing of a large number of applications for plan approval. Those plans that needed the approval of the LPA were also routed through local bodies.
A circular dated July 20, 2009 from the Commissioner of Town and Country Planning had announced changes to this system. It said plans for residential buildings above 2,000 sq.ft. and commercial buildings more than 1,000 sq.ft. could be submitted directly to the LPA as it was the approval agency and not the local bodies.
Even as this order was to take full effect, yet another change was effected by the latest order that raised the square feet ceiling for approval by local bodies.
Secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause K. Kathirmathiyon welcomed the order by pointing out that the public would be benefitted by it because they could get the plans approved by the local body itself.
But, such orders should reach the Departments of Municipal Administration and Water Supply and the Department of Rural Development so that these were relayed quickly to the local bodies under their control, he said.