The Directorate of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) took the initiative to approach the government seeking extension of the last date for processing pending Building Penalisation Scheme (BPS) certificates till December 31.
A letter to this effect has been written to the Minister for Municipal Administration A. Ramnarayan Reddy, and decision on the issue is to be announced in a day or to.
Extended spells of rainfall, spree of festivals and concluding period of elected local bodies kept the municipal staff busy and hence, the government was requested to extend the period, said Director of Town and Country Planning B. Purushothama Reddy.
He pointed out that there has been good progress in processing the BPS applications across the six regions under the directorate including Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Guntur, Anantapur, Warangal and Hyderabad in the last few months. Each region has quite a few corporations and municipalities under the jurisdiction. Greater municipal corporations and urban development authorities do not come under DTCP.
Latest figures show that 95,669 applications were disposed (63.22 per cent) as against 1.51 forms received for BPS. There are still 55,666 applications waiting processing. Only in July three months ago, the figures were not at all encouraging with only 78,000 cleared (35.17 per cent). It was even more dismal in December last year when just 4,224 forms were cleared for BPS launched in Jan.2008. Official apathy, staff crunch and general lack of drive to make citizens aware of the benefits of the scheme, which also nets sizeable revenue to the beleaguered municipal bodies, has led to poor response in the first one and a half years.
Once Mr. Reddy took over as DTCP, he and his senior officers went round all the districts to sensitise the town planning staff to push through pending files.