Needed: Online Building Permitting Software
If we look at current technology innovation across industries, the major emphasis lies on process efficiency and simplicity. A large chunk of technology adoption has been implemented in areas that are mainly process-driven. Be it a government organisation or a private enterprise, the idea is to make things simpler and easier. With the emergence of the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) concept, government organisations are putting in more effort to reduce the number of existing processes and execution time and making processes more accountable and transparent.
Collective and collaborativeWhen we speak of process efficiency or transparency, let me share one important example of building plan approval.
If we look at current technology innovation across industries, the major emphasis lies on process efficiency and simplicity. A large chunk of technology adoption has been implemented in areas that are mainly process-driven. Be it a government organisation or a private enterprise, the idea is to make things simpler and easier. With the emergence of the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) concept, government organisations are putting in more effort to reduce the number of existing processes and execution time and making processes more accountable and transparent. Collective and collaborative When we speak of process efficiency or transparency, let me share one important example of building plan approval. To look at it from the perspective of the building plan permitting process, most cities have gone online with the process. Online permitting software can help in the following ways: Reducing manual intervention to bring automation into processes Bringing in process standardisation Driving citizen-centric e-governance initiatives Delivering cost-effectivity and time efficiency. I have always believed that any innovation has to be collective and collaborative. And I think this is the right time for the construction industry to adopt technology to innovate the way they run their business. As we are struggling with the current situation, concepts like the online building plan approval system are going to be crucial from the overall recovery viewpoint. We also have to remember that it is not only about comfort and convenience. Now, going a step ahead, let’s understand how the online building permitting system can make things simpler for the parties associated with the construction sector. The single-window clearance system Any individual associated with the construction industry understands that the time taken for building plan approval depends on the scrutiny time of 2D/3D drawings and receiving NOCs from all other concerned agencies. Hence, the major challenge is to reduce the time associated with the scrutiny and NOCs. In terms of the use of technology, we need to make it cohesive and collective that includes all the associated parties. Despite the availability of digital plans or models of buildings, most builders and developers are still facing time delays in plan approvals. These delays further contribute to loss of time and money. In such a scenario, we need to think of concepts like a single-window clearance system (SWCS). The SWCS brings much-needed collaboration and collectiveness among all the parties involved in construction permits. While bringing them on a single platform, it enables a smooth and efficient mechanism for obtaining NOCs from different agencies. In such a pandemic situation, the government agencies should encourage and expedite the adoption of e-governance for the construction sector. For example, government authorities should implement and promote the system for issuing online construction permits. Benefits of online single-window clearance system Now, let me share some of the key benefits of the SWCS for the online building plan approval system. It automates the traditional cumbersome paper-based process of checking development rule compliance. It offers a single window for acquiring building permits, NOCs and clearances from multiple agencies. It enables e-governance while maintaining a digitised version of documents. It saves time for all the concerned parties by expediting the approval process. It brings transparency to the overall approval process. It ensures process standardisation across all levels of the organisation. It provides business intelligence, enabling a bird’s-eye view of urban growth, helping in effective decision-making. Economically, it will: Significantly contribute to the overall revenue of government agencies Cut down costs for architects and real-estate developers Positively impact real-estate pricing to the end-user, as unwarranted delays will be eliminated. So, we have to see the larger picture of the benefits and advantages the SWCS for online building plan approval brings to the table. And as a technology solution provider, SoftTech will continue to contribute its share to this overall growth process. The smart cities growth I have always believed that when any technology adoption gets impetus from the Government in any sector, it will always gain speedy momentum. Similar is the case with the concept of smart cities. I believe that this concept will be useful to implement citizen-centric processes. However, the success of smart initiatives will depend on how they are adopted by citizens. From the construction industry’s perspective, the building plan process is one such user-centric process that needs to be well taken care of. Considering the criticality of this process, the need is to make it more convenient, fast and transparent. With the government push, the online building plan approval process and issuing of construction permits will pave the way for a better and smart tomorrow. As we are slowly and steadily moving towards Digital India, such implementations will help boost user confidence in government initiatives. In conclusion Things have started changing positively for the construction sector. With the adoption of online building permitting software, we can expect a better tomorrow for all the parties associated. Also, I would like to bring your attention to an important point. The digitally approved plan will create a set of building project data with the required information, which, in turn, will be used for city infrastructure management by the city managers and could be used significantly for disaster management and safety requirements of the city. Therefore, the adoption of an online building plan approval system should not be limited to only issuing permits but seen as a complete data-driven system for city infrastructure management. About the author: Vijay Gupta, Founder & CEO, SoftTech Engineers, is an alumnus of IIT Mumbai and is a first-generation entrepreneur. He has worked with the CAD/CAM divisions of Crompton Greaves and Godrej & Boyce for six years at the start of his career, and has over 29 years of experience in the development of complex CAD/CAE/project management software.