Building permit applications pile up

There is delay in initial scrutiny of drawings

Building permit applications are piling up in the city Corporation due to the delay in the initial scrutiny of drawings, which is to be carried out by the private firm that designed the new Intelligent Building Plan Management System (IBPMS) for the online application and processing of building permits.

It also points to the fact that the system that was supposed to be fully online, is still partly manual, almost six months after it was implemented.

According to Corporation sources, there are not enough staff available with the private firm to carry out the initial scrutiny.

Daily basis

“On a daily basis, we get around 80 to 100 building permit applications. There are only two people to carry out the initial scrutiny. They can check a maximum of 40 drawings per day. Also, their services are not available on all days. The processing of the application can be carried out only after this initial vetting. This has led to many applications remaining pending,” said the source.

Vetting process

The initial vetting process usually involves checking whether the application satisfies the various parameters of the Kerala Municipality Building Rules (KMBR), which is integrated into the software.

But, work on linking the software with the existing online systems of the other departments, including Revenue, Town Planning, Fire Department and the Coastal Regulatory Zone authority, from which clearances are required, is yet to be completed. This was one of the original aims of implementing the system.

Currently, applicants obtain the required NOCs and clearances in the traditional way and submit it manually.

Software hiccups

Another issue has been that the software only recognises only a limited type of constructions other than conventional residential ones.

Applications for constructing compound walls and other structures still have to be submitted manually.

Designers and some officials have been reluctant to adapt to the new system, despite several training sessions being organised before the system was launched.

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