The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) is planning to make submission of drainage plan mandatory to get planning permission for buildings.
The CMDA has started overlaying GIS data from 21 NOC issuing departments over its land use map. Once the applicant uploads the form, the software in the portal will automatically display the departments from which NOC is required.
“If a site is close to a water body, the portal will ask for a drainage plan (to ensure flow of water into the water body). It must be obtained from a hydrologist and submitted along with other documents,” said a CMDA official.
The CMDA introduced the single-window online planning permission application system in May 2022. The portal was integrated with urban and rural local bodies including Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC).
Recently, 114 approvals were given within 30 days of application. According to CMDA officials, on average 65 planning permissions for high-rise buildings (HRB) are granted every year. But last year the online portal received 135 applications, of which 100 were cleared. In the non-HRB category, 641 applications were received in 2022 and 455 permissions were given. In 2023, of 837 applications received 605 were cleared.
Builders, however, say there is still a delay in getting HRB approvals from the housing department. “There are around 35 proposals pending. There are also difficulties in getting plans uploaded on the portal. The approval process can be much faster if adequate staff are available in their seats,” said a developer.
Retired professor of urban engineering, Anna University, K P Subramanian said that if the vulnerable areas are mapped, layered on the land use map of the CMDA and made as part of the planning permission process, the software will automatically reject sites close to water bodies. “But there should be some accountability.
Random checks should be done to ensure that there are no deviations,” he said.S Ramaprabhu, committee chairman, Municipal and DTCP, Builders Association of India, said the CMDA should fix the gradient level of different types of roads, and it should be made part of the planning permit. “Builders will ensure that it is followed while applying for planning permission. This will ensure that the water does not stay in the layout and flows into the main road or nearby channel,” he said.