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To speed up urban construction projects, govt to come with notifications by November end

New Delhi: Aiming to ensure time-bound, hassle-free clearances, the government today decided to come out with the necessary notifications by the end of next month for streamlining approvals for urban construction projects.

The decision in this regard was taken today at a high-level meeting convened by Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, a senior UD Ministry official said.

 To speed up urban construction projects, govt to come with notifications by November end

AFP

The meeting was attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma and Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, besides the secretaries and senior officials of eight related ministries.

The ministers and the Cabinet Secretary reviewed the progress made by the respective ministries towards enhancing ease of doing business in urban areas since inter-ministerial consultations in this regard were initiated by Naidu a few months back, the UD Ministry official added.

Secretaries and senior officials of the Ministries of Defence, Environment and Forests and Climate Change, Civil Aviation, Culture, Consumer Affairs, Urban Development and
Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation have given detailed accounts of measures taken so far and proposed to be taken in this connection.

Naidu said the country is ranked low in terms of ease of doing business in urban areas and it is imperative to improve the same in the context of efforts to achieve a sustained high rate of economic growth and other initiatives like Housing for All.

Parrikar suggested the adoption of a practical and realistic approach to fast track approvals for projects. The Cabinet Secretary said that streamlining of approvals
needs to be taken seriously to end cost and time over runs and harassment of project developers.

Sinha suggested that the Environment ministry consider incentivising compliance with the guidelines. He noted that official notifications in respect of agreed-upon measures would go a long way towards improving India's rank on "ease of doing business".

A World Bank report yesterday ranked India at 130 out of 189 countries on the index of ease of doing business, up 12 places from the 142nd spot that the country occupied last
year.

As per the initiatives to fast track approvals, guidelines for according Environmental Clearances are being further simplified based on the built-up area and these are to be soon finalised.

Simplified guidelines could be incorporated in the by-laws /regulations of states and urban local bodies so that the Environment Ministry need not be approached for clearances.

With 65 per cent of the applications for height clearances being in respect of the 12 major airports, Colour-Coded Zoning Maps (CCZM) of nine of these have been made available online to enable urban local bodies accord approvals without the applicants having to go to the Civil Aviation Ministry.

It was informed that CCZMs in respect of the remaining three airports would be made available by the end of December. CCZMs of another 14 airports would be uploaded by the end of next year, which would take care of over 90 per cent of the applications for clearances.

A No Objection Certificate Application System (NOCAS-II) would be soft-launched on October 31 this year and be available for use by applicants so as to eliminate human
interface for approvals.

A website for online filing and grant of No Objection Certificate for buildings not falling in restricted areas of National Monuments has been made fully operational, the
Culture Ministry said.

Online approvals can be obtained using the mobile App developed by ISRO and the accuracy of the App has been enhanced to return a margin of error of no more than 1-2
metres. Mapping of 600 monuments has been already completed that enables online approvals while heritage by-laws for 201 major monuments are being drawn up on priority. The Culture Secretary, NK Sinha, gave a demonstration of the online approval system at the meeting.

Also, all the three services and defence organisations have been directed to advise local military authorities and local units to provide details and maps of restricted and unrestricted areas to local municipal authorities. Thus, Colour Coded Zoning Maps for defence airports under joint civil operations will be prepared after a meeting with
all concerned is organised by the minister of defence.

The defence establishments concerned are to accord required approvals within 30 days from the date of application. The defence minister said that subject to strategic and
sensitivity considerations, necessary measures will be taken for fast tracking approvals for urban construction projects.

According to the presentation by the Consumer Affairs Department, National Building Code-2015 will be finalised by the end of December this year keeping in view the requirement for quick approvals.

The Urban Development Ministry has prepared Model Building by-laws and the simplified guidelines to be proposed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests will be duly incorporated in the same.

Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has suggested a 'risk-based' approval system that places the onus on the applicant for violation of any undertaking given in
respect of compliance with guidelines. The ministers and officials suggested strict penal measures for any violation of guidelines in the new constructions, including demolition of structures so made.

Notifications in respect of the measures agreed upon and the implementation mechanism, including empowerment of urban local bodies to accord approvals, will be issued by the end of next month as decided at today's high-level meeting.

PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 29, 2015 10:42:58 IST