The state government has introduced a provision for builders and architects to obtain approvals for construction plans using a software.
The town and country planning (TCP) department, which notified the GoaLand Development and Building Construction (Amendment) Regulations, 2019, will also allow third party technical clearance for low-risk buildings such as residential homes.
The revised norms, which are effective immediately, are designed to reduce the interaction between the TCP department and applicants, while also helping the state to increase its ease of doing business rankings, said officials.
“We have brought in an enabling provision for online approvals using Auto-DCR. The software itself is being prepared, and will be rolled out soon,” said chief town planner James Mathew. Auto-DCR is a software that automatically studies building plans by reading CAD drawings and checks if they meet TCP’s development rules.
TCP minister Vijai Sardesai had announced that the state had floated the tender for the Auto-DCR in September 2017.
These draft norms were published in December 2018 for objections and suggestions, which were looked into by a steering committee. After the scrutiny and incorporation of valid suggestions, the government has now moved to notify the regulations.
However, what is expected to bring relief to applicants and reduce TCP’s workload is the move to permit registered architects or engineers to issue third party certifications for low-risk buildings for facilitating issuance of technical clearance, development permission, and completion order.
“Third party certification by professionals for low-risk buildings such as residential homes with one story in up to 500 sq m area is being permitted for promoting ease of doing business,” Mathew said.
He said that the government also wanted to simplify the process to start solar farms in the state by waiving the need for permissions for setting them up. Along with the construction of solar farms, an individual or company will also be allowed to set up up office space of a maximum of 200 sq m, the notification says.
TCP has also taken into consideration the impact that malls or commercial complexes have on traffic movement and parking. The new regulations stipulate that a traffic impact study and a traffic management plan have to be in place before clearance is given for malls. Malls or entertainment complexes will be permitted in commercial zones and only next to 15m-wide roads. The norms also state that adequate parking should be available in such malls.