It's a useful handbook not only for officials but also for all those associated with construction and building activity, writes G.V.Prasada Sarma
Government regulations are a maze and only those working in the department concerned will be able to quote the relevant provision and interpret it with an eye on practicalities. But having the relevant bye-laws and GOs put together for ready reckoning is again difficult.
Visakahpatnam Urban Development Authority has recently brought out a handbook. With the Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region (VMR) stretching over 5,573.51 sq km covering four districts and a few municipalities, it is incumbent upon Urban Development Authority to ensure development according to its Master Plan and Zonal Development Plans taking officials of local bodies on board.
The book brought out by the Planning Wing of VUDA was mainly meant for the guidance of officials of local bodies.
VUDA has been conducting regular meetings with municipal and panchayat officials so as create awareness on their duties and limitations. For instance, one of the provisions lays down that panchayats are empowered to accord permission to plans for G+2 buildings below the height of 10 m and within an area of 1000 sq m. Besides, other guidelines with regard to construction of shops, collection of development charges and remitting it to VUDA are also given in Telugu for their convenience. The book also contains pro forma for panchayats to maintain a list approved and unapproved layouts and details of open spaces handed over to them.
It also carries, in a tabular form, dos and don'ts for panchayats. It lays down even in layouts approved by panchayats/municipalities also, construction should not be allowed without VUDA's approval.
It also has the GOs relating to construction issued by the government from time to time, areas where high-rise buildings have been prohibited in VUDA as well as Vijayawada-Guntur-Tenali Urban Development Authority, list of congested areas in both UDAs, norms for high-rise buildings, group-housing, provision of infrastructure in layouts, issue of occupancy certificate etc.
It's a useful handbook not only for officials but for all those who are associated with construction and building activity. But it is not for sale.