Decision on building permits to be quicker

The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation has issued a directive to officials to reduce delay in the processing of building permits and to ensure timely action against illegal constructions. The directives, issued by the Secretary, are meant to fix responsibility at various levels so that applications are not held up at any level.

A recent assessment of building permit-related files revealed problems, including laxity in issuing notices against illegal constructions, lack of follow-up action even in cases in which notices were issued, lack of action on complaints, failure to comply with court orders, and lack of clarity in responses. Now, Assistant Engineers (AE) will be put in charge as nodal officers for all kinds of building permits. This has been done after noticing a delay in processing the files owing to reluctance of top officials to take responsibility.

Informing the applicant

The officials have to ensure that all the required documents are submitted at the time of application for building permits. The applicant has to be informed of the missing documents and asked to submit the entire set. The applications received have to be entered in the building application register and handed over to the overseer or AE, who have to conduct a site visit within five days to check whether all rules are being followed. In case of discrepancies, the applicant has to be informed within five days.

For files related to larger buildings, which have to be sent to the higher authorities, the AE has to ensure that the Assistant Executive Engineers decide on them within three days, the Executive Engineers within six days, and the Secretary, within 10 days. All actions, including issuance of notice, permit clearance or rejection, have to be noted in the building application register.

Against illegal constructions

In the case of illegal constructions, notice has to be issued under Section 406 of the Kerala Municipal Act. Notice has to be issued for a hearing if the explanation is unsatisfactory and the illegal construction is not regularised. Action, including demolition, can be taken if the owner refuses to follow the directives. Failure to take action against illegal constructions in any zone, using lack of complaints as a reason, will be seen as dereliction of duty.

Occupancy certificates

Though the rules state that occupancy certificates have to be provided within 15 days of submitting application, this does not happen in most cases. For this purpose, a similar fixing of responsibility and maximum time permissible for action to be taken at various levels has been specified, on the lines of building permit applications.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 6:12:26 AM |

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