It seeks to provide an online single window framework for approval process. This move from the government, if properly implemented, will considerably improve the country’s record in dealing with construction permits.
According to the latest World Bank report on ‘Dealing with Construction Permits’, India is languishing at the 183rd position in this parameter, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Afghanistan (185th rank), Albania (189th) and Zimbabwe, which came at 184th position. Even Pakistan (61st) and Bangladesh (118th) have bettered India’s raking by a long way. The World Bank report traces the procedures, time and cost to build a warehouse — including obtaining the necessary licenses and permits, submitting all required notifications, requesting and receiving all necessary inspections and obtaining utility connections.
The Model Building Bye-Laws, 2016 intends to improve ease of doing business regarding issuance of construction permits.
The new bye-laws provide a structural framework for single window integrated building plan approval process and set the maximum time limit for all kind of building approvals at 30 days, after which the approval can be considered 'deemed'.
The model building bye-laws provide for the integration of various types of environmental considerations. Once implemented, there will be no requirement for any separate environmental clearance or permission.
The mechanism creates a single window approval system that would lead to faster approval of projects and eliminates man-to-man interaction and thereby reduces corruption.
The new laws has categorised buildings into three categories based on the built-up area — 5,000 to 20,000 square meters, 20,000 to 50,000 sq mt and 50,000 to 150,000 sq mt. All the approvals for such buildings can be obtained from the state urban local bodies now. Different set of environmental conditions are provided for each category of building ranging from 5,000 square meters to 1.5 lakh square meters.
They also provide for mandatory provisions for rainwater apart from new provisions for solar roof top power generation in cities. The ULBs can also provide incentives to individuals for rainwater harvesting and rooftop solar power generation by various mechanisms including discounts and rebate in property tax.
A risk-based matrix for different types of buildings has also been introduced, for fast track approval of small buildings with low risk criteria and high risk buildings like malls, multi-story or big complexes to be examined in the required detail.
The bye-laws finally empowers urban local bodies in different states to grant construction permits within limits proposed and monitor different initiatives such as rainwater harvesting and solar power generation.
The last time the Model Building Bye-Laws were issued in 2004. Since then the situation has changed dramatically compelling the Centre to come up with new Bye-Laws.