Kerala forms 4th panel for online building permit

online building permit

Kerala forms 4th panel for online building, a year after the local self government department introduced intelligent building plan management system (IBPMS) software to address issues pertaining to building permit and occupancy certificate as part of ease of doing business, the state government has made a series of interventions to set right the system following issues flagged by local bodies where it was first implemented.

The government has constituted a joint techno operations team to facilitate the implementation of IBPMS. The 10-member team will have representatives from directorate of urban affairs, town planning, KSIDC, the company that has developed the software and officials of Thiruvananthapuram corporation. IBPMS was introduced by the state government in select local bodies such as Thiruvananthapuram corporation and Varkala municipality in 2018 to implement an online system for issuance of building permit and occupancy certificate. The suicide of an entrepreneur at Anthur over alleged delay in issuance of occupancy certificate had put the government in a weak spot.

In 2018, the state government had constituted three committees to monitor the development and implementation of IBPMS: steering and project review committee, documentation finalisation committee and piloting review committee. Three committees comprised 31 members in total. The new joint techno operations team has been entrusted with multiple tasks including raising recommendations in the implementation of IBPMS, monitoring fortnightly rollouts and application, reviewing technical and operational aspects of IBPMS. In addition to this, a state-level officer has been appointed and a steering committee comprising seven members, including LSG minister, has been formed to take executive decisions and key approvals.

While senior officials with LSGD have seldom attended to the flaws in the system, the meeting convened by LSG minister A C Moideen in July had confirmed various shortfalls of the software. In October 2018, the capital corporation made a decision to process all applications for building permits through IBPMS. However, it led to varied problems with designers and architects citing technical flaws, eventually affecting timely allocation of permits. The corporation was even forced to place a request with LSGD to go to manual mode after the system failed to work without any flaw even after a series of training programmes.

In a recent report submitted by Thiruvananthapuram corporation, as many as 15 issues, including generation of approved permits even without payment of permit fee and approval of septic tanks within the building, were enlisted.

Corporation officials pointed out that the system has lapses in calculating permit fee and it was even highlighted in the audit remarks.

File tracking was also cited as another issue as the higher officials were unable to track the files being handled by subordinates to monitor any delay. Errors in rules regarding setback were also flagged in the report. Regarding one-day permits, the report showed that file could not be made available to the official concerned for mandatory site inspection after the permit is granted.

Source- et realty