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Apr 21, 2009

Construction industry seeks speedy approval mechanism

The Builders’ Association of India, Coimbatore Centre, has expressed concern over the delay in getting building plan approvals.It takes one to two years to get approval for a medium-size project (over 2,000 sq.ft). “The construction sector here will disappear if the time taken for approvals is so long,” says an office-bearer of the association.

Outgoing chairman of the association G. Srinivasan and the new chairman D.R. Sekar told presspersons here on Monday that Coimbatore had started losing opportunities as projects were moving out of the city fearing the delay.Four associations related to the construction sector assisted the Corporation for introduction of the Auto DCR system. In this system, plans were prepared using specially developed software and the building plan was submitted in a CD. The local body used the software to verify the plan. The objective was to reduce the time taken for approvals.

The Auto DCR should be extended to the Local Planning Authority and the Directorate of Town and Country Planning. The Auto DCR could also be upgraded to provide all related details to consumers at the click of the mouse. The Government should be pro-active in bringing about transparency in approvals. This would further reduce deviations and violations.There could be emergency projects such as extension of a hospital block or completion of classrooms in an educational institution before the beginning of the academic year. These projects were also getting hit with the delay in the approvals, they said.A nodal agency should be constituted for approvals and it should be within a time frame, Mr. Srinivasan said.

During the last one year, construction activities here were on a down turn and were expected revive by the end of the year. Industrial expansions had almost come to a standstill. Commercial construction had also declined. Only Government infrastructure works and individual residential works were on.Apart from starting the school of construction artisans at Sri Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya here, the association had also tied up with a hospital to provide medical care to workers at a concessional rate.

With increasing awareness among the consumers and the builders, deviations were coming down, safety standards were improving in construction and the quality was also going up.

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