Flat promoters observe fast

Uniform development control rules demanded "At least the construction rules and planning permission systems from Nagarpalika Act can be adopted here"

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: Members of the Federation of Tamil Nadu Flat and Housing Promoters' Associations observed a fast on Wednesday demanding that the State Government implement the construction rules as stipulated in the Nagarpalika Act.

The federation, whose members went on a token strike throughout the State, asserted that the development control rules (DCR) in the Nagarpalika Act of the Central Government were more modern and tuned to the present day construction needs than the "out-of-date rules" in Tamil Nadu.

"We understand that the Nagarpalika Act cannot be fully implemented in Tamil Nadu due to a few technical reasons. But at least the construction rules and planning permission systems from the Act can be adopted here," the Federation president R. Manishankar said.

One provision in the Nagarpalika Act was that local bodies were empowered to give plan approvals. The federation members' argument was that local bodies were better suited to understand the local needs and situation than agencies like the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA).

"We have to go either to the CMDA for Chennai constructions or to the Director of Town Planning for any approval. Why cannot a uniform set of DCR be prescribed for Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Madurai Corporations and the local bodies empowered for plan approval?" asked G. Mohan, State secretary of the federation.

Federation members said that the introduction of uniform rules would ensure transparency in the system and reduce corruption. "At present, people violate those norms — which are difficult to meet — and they then pay bribes for approval," Mr. Mohan said.

The nine-point charter of demands submitted by the federation to the State Government includes granting of building plan approvals within two weeks and provision of stilt-level parking in the ground floor.

"We also think that the fee charged for the demolition of old buildings is meaningless. The fees is for the Corporations to remove the debris but it is usually we who have to remove the debris," a federation member said.

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