There is bad news for penthouses and multi-storied buildings awaiting regularisation under the Building Penalisation Scheme (BPS). With November 15 the last date for processing pending applications, GHMC is insisting on total fire safety clearance before processing the files.

Though there were proposals to come out with a “minimally acceptable fire safety measures” for older buildings like dispensing with an extra staircase, it has not fructified. “We cannot afford to take any chances in ensuring fire safety standards, multi-storied buildings have to comply with the existing norms,” said Additional Commissioner (Planning & Projects) Rajendra Prasad.

It should come as a setback to 2,000-odd applicants, most of them penthouse owners who had nursed a fond hope of getting their respective illegal structures regularised under BPS. “There is an issue of terrace rights too if the penthouses are regularised,” pointed out Mr. Prasad.

Chief City Planner G.V. Raghu said that 300 of the 2,400 applications under the multi-storied buildings requiring fire safety measures were cleared in the last couple of years. In all, 1.2 lakh BPS applications have been cleared ever since the scheme was launched. While 40,000 applications were found ineligible, there are still 14,435 eligible applications yet to be cleared.

Officials have listed them as applicants not yet submitting structural stability certificate or not having paid the second instalment of penal fee. However, fact is there are several applications where respective municipal circles have been lethargic in issuing clearance certificates even when applicants were running around their offices.

The promise too put all the status reports online has not been fulfilled. “We will soon be putting all the files on the GHMC website. Besides help desks, officials have been put in charge in all 18 circles. We request pending applicants to visit circle offices, pay the remaining fee or submit necessary certificate and seek clearance,” said Mr. Prasad.

GHMC insists on clearance for penthouses and multi-storied buildings; Nov. 15 is the deadline