The government has taken a major step in making Delhi future-ready, and this is an example for many other cities in the country to consider. SANTHOSH KUMAR shares more on Delhi’s Unified Building Bye-Laws.
After three decades of their implementation, the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has revised the Unified Building Bye-Laws for the national capital, with the intention of creating an integrated single-window mechanism for online approval of building plans. The move aims to ease the process for acquiring building permits, NOC, Completion-cum-Occupancy Certificate by reducing paperwork, timelines and fixing accountability on urban local body’s response time. The provisions also provide for additional features to address safe, eco-friendly and sustainable constructions.
It has been a demand from the industry body to reduce the time taken to secure the approval which otherwise would have an impact on the cost. The simplified document process will also have a positive bearing on the speed of the entire process of development and also on the cost of the project.
In a major relief, the amended bylaws have proposed a single-window clearance mechanism for online submission and payment of charges by the applicants to the concerned urban local body instead of applying to multiple agencies. This is further aided by MoEF’s (Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change) acceptance to integrate approvals by agreeing to empower urban local bodies to accord Environmental Clearance for built-up area up to 150,000 sq m, which otherwise had to be obtained at state level authority under the ministry.
Approvals /No Objection Certificates by external agencies like AAI, NMA, Delhi Fire Services, DMRC, Ministry of Environment, etc, shall be issued within 15 days. The number of documents to be submitted for obtaining building permits has been reduced from 40 to just 14. Procedure for obtaining Completion-cum-Occupancy Certificate has been simplified by reducing the number of documents to be submitted by the owner from 36 to just 9.
The new policy has also taken care of the individuals who wanted to build their own houses under the new Saral scheme. For residential plots of size up to 105 sq m, the plot owner need not obtain sanction of building plans. He or she has to only submit an undertaking intimating about construction along with requisite fees and other documents to start construction. Professional ownership has been provided for by empowering architects or engineers to issue building permits for smaller residential (105-500 sq m) and industrial (250 sq m) buildings.
Importantly, the Unified Building Bye-Laws now also require all buildings and facilities intended for public use – Including buildings used for education, institutions, assembly venues, commercial or business and mercantile buildings as well as group housing projects to incorporate a universal design that aids differently-abled people and senior citizens. This has been a major lacuna in the past, which will now hopefully be corrected. Likewise, the new Building Bye-laws require all such buildings to incorporate pleasant aesthetics.
The new Building Bye-laws are definitely progressive and in line with the contemporary requirements of a country's capital. Notably, the Delhi Government has notified the new Building Bye-laws for the national capital after almost 33 years – this, if nothing else, stands as mute testimony to how outdated and obsolete these laws had become. By making the new rules more user-friendly and integrating the various approvals required by different agencies into a single platform, the government has taken a major step in making Delhi future-ready.
About the author: Santhosh Kumar is CEO-Operations & International Director of JLL India.