Getting a Building Plan approved is a cumbersome process in India. Commencing a building construction without the permission of required authorities is illegal and the constructed portion of that building is liable for demolition and the developer will be prosecuted for the said act. Therefore, the developer has to ensure that all the necessary permissions and approvals are obtained from the relevant authorities before commencing the construction. Different authorities are set up to deal with different permissions required for approval of the project. The process differs not only from State to State but it also varies for different cities. The Building permission is granted subject to very stringent scrutiny. This involves various stages starting with the identification and authenticity of the land, the geo-location, if the building conforms to all the standards of safety and regulation, the distance from the road, distance from surrounding buildings, height and other criteria set by the Municipal authorities, along with the building plan.
Let us look at the comprehensive step by step procedure of how to get a building plan approval in the city of Pune.
Firstly, the developer/builder has to get a clear title of the land on which he proposes to undertake construction. He has to ensure that he is the owner of the land. He has to show that the land is free from encumbrances and it should not be in any other person’s possession, nor there should be any charges ie lien/mortgage over the land, there should not be a dispute of any kind over it nor any financial or heirship claims. If the land is given to the developer/builder for redevelopment the development right should have been given to the developer/builder by the landowner. For that purpose, the developer/builder has to furnish a development agreement between him and the landowner or a development agreement cum power of attorney. The time required for obtaining a clear title/ownership certificate is 15 days and the cost for is Rs 50/- per CTS No/Property Card Registration. The title/ownership certificate is provided by the Revenue Department.
There are different zoning laws for different zones which regulate the development, construction, and usage of real estate properties in India. Land-use zoning in India is classified into categories such as residential, multi-family, commercial and specific zones created to segregate real estate properties. If the land was an agricultural land and has been converted into a non-agricultural land which is being developed for residential or commercial use the developer/builder has to obtain permission from the Urban Development department and once the use of the land is converted after being approved by the town planning department and the municipal authority the State Urban Development Ministry has to notify it in official gazette. The Maharashtra Town Planning department forwards the proposals to the concerned authorities for granting zonal approvals. Zonal Development Plan should be Airport Authority Cleared. Building Plan could be passed and sanctioned by certified architects, monitoring of the project by the municipality. Non-agriculture permission not required for land within Municipal Limits.
Submit Building Plan
Now here comes a major role of the Architect. The developer/builder’s architect has to submit the building plan for approval. He has to submit the proposed plan with all the required documents now the proposal goes for two levels of check. First level scrutiny check is done by Assistant Town Planning/Municipal officer and the second level scrutiny check is done by the Chief Officer. If the file is in order and complete he can proceed to pay the scrutiny fees. The ATP/Municipal Engineer verifies the documents uploaded by the applicant. Once the documents/drawings are verified, the site visit is done for the proposal. Engineer/ATP himself go for site visit inspection and fill in the questionnaire drafted for a site visit of Building Permission. Consolidated Scrutiny is also performed based on the comparison of drawings uploaded, the proposal details and the DC rules. On successful inspection, the application is verified with remarks and then is forwarded to the Chief Officer for further round of inspection. Chief Officer will re-verify all the documents and the Scrutiny inspection report of the proposal. Chief Officer will check for any concession/relaxation requested and check whether to allow for any concession/relaxation on the proposal. Once the proposal is approved, the applicant needs to pay the other approval charges (Development charges, labour cess, etc.) Once the fees have been paid the application file is then forwarded to the concerned officer of the Building Proposal Department. Then the file is forwarded to the Survey Office, which makes its remarks on the application file and checks the remarks from the Development Plan office (obtained during the design stage of the project). If the Survey Office is satisfied with its review, it will send the application file back to the Building Proposal Department within one week. The application varies for residential and commercial projects. A sub-engineer from the Building Proposal Office will conduct a site inspection within 3 to 4 days of receiving the file from the survey office. The date and time of the site inspection are arranged by the company’s architect. The building company must be on-site when the inspection takes place. The sub-engineer scrutinizes the potential of the plot including the provision of civic infrastructure. The inspector will take photographs of the site and surroundings and upload it. The developer/builder can then check the site visit report to view it.
Sample list of scrutiny questions of the site report is:
- Is the location as per the approved plan layout of the Town and Country Planning Department?
- Do the boundaries tally or not tally as per plan and as on-ground position?
- Is the ownership of approach road Public or Private?
- What is the nature of approach road (a) Kaccha road (b) Water Bound Macadam (WBM) (c) Bituminous (BT)? (d) Cement Concrete.
- Are there any services on the approach road (a) Drains (b) Storm Water Drains (c) Telephone wires (d) Electricity?
- What is the nature of the proposed site? Site Topology (a) Slope of the site (b) Plain Land (c) Undulated land (d) Rocky Terrain.
- Are there any structures on the site (a) Plain structure (b) Temporary structure (c) No structure?
- Is the site within the vicinity of the structure identified by the archaeological department?
- Are there any nature of water body (a) Nala (b) Canal (c) Lakes (d)Streams?
- Does the proposed site falls under restricted zones like Defense area/Air funnel zone/CRZ area/Blue Line/Red Flood Line, etc.
- Are there any trees on the site?
- Are the trees going to be demolished?
- Is the site covered by (a) Temple (b) Religious Structures (c) Open wall (d) Graveyard (e) Heritage structure?
- Is the site filled with offences materials like carcasses or excreta?
- Is there proper sanitation on the site?
Obtain Intimation of disapproval (IOD) from the Building proposal department
After the site is inspected the developer/builder’s application file is sent back to the Building Proposal Office to get an Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) (authorization) it is also known as Building Permit in some places. IOD are instructions which a developer/builder has to comply within an under-construction project. The concerned officer i: e the Sub-Engineer scrutinizes the report and forwards it to the assistant engineer and executive engineer. If everything is proper the executive engineer approves it. The Intimation of disapproval is (IOD) comes with a list of objections which the developer/builder must procure from different departments and authorities. An Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) is issued after the redevelopment plans are submitted to the Building Proposal Department of the Municipal Corporation.
Submit structural plans approved by a structural engineer to the Pune Municipal Corporation
Once the developer/builder obtains an Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) he has to apply for a review of structural plans which is done simultaneously with the No Objection Process (NOC).
Non Agriculture Permission
As we saw earlier that if the land was an agricultural land and has been converted into a non-agricultural land which is being developed for residential or commercial use the developer/builder has to obtain permission from the Urban Development department and once the use of the land is converted after being approved by the town planning department and the municipal authority the State Urban Development Ministry has to notify it in official gazette. It is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. The permission is granted by the Revenue Department.
Obtain No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Tree Department of the Pune Municipal Corporation
Trees cutting is taken very seriously by the Municipal Authority as the laws enacted are stringent in this regard. Maharashtra (urban areas) Preservation of Trees Authority Act 1957 has set up a Tree Authority in all Municipal Corporations in the State of Maharashtra. A Tree authority commission has also been setup under the said Act. This Commission meets once every month. If there are trees on the proposed construction site this has to be brought to the notice of the authority and the Commission decides which trees are to be cut (if any). If any trees are cut down as a result of the construction the developer/builder has to plant the same amount of trees somewhere else as a replacement of the chopped trees.
Obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Electricity Department
The developer/builder has to submit a copy of the building approval plan along with an application to the electricity department of the Municipal Corporation about the electricity requirement of the project construction. The concerned officer of the electricity department shall survey to determine the projects power requirement.
Obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Traffic and Coordination Department
The authority deals with comprehensive transport plan, coordinate between city development plan and regional transport plan, unification of various modes of transport, unification of basic infrastructure of multi-modal transport hubs, selection of organization for operating the multi-modal infrastructure, BRTS, financial planning, technology for operationalizing the transport system, involving the government and private organizations through PPP mode, ensuring consensus among various organizations on transport issue, research and knowledge gathering on transport, training in transport sector.
Obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Municipal Sewerage Department
The developer/builder has to submit an application by a licensed plumber or architect to the Pune Municipal Corporation at the concerned ward office. The NOC is issued within 15 days from the receipt of application. The application can be submitted online or to the Additional City Engineer, Sewerage department through a licensed plumber along with the scanned copies of the following documents.
- Ownership Document (PRC/ 7/12 Extract)
- Copy of the Licensed plumber.
- Plan for drainage connection with the site plan.
- Property Tax NOC.
After the application is submitted along with the documents attached by the licensed plumber the construction site is visited and if everything is proper the approval is given by the Dy. Engineer of the drainage department. Connection charges should be paid by challan at the respective ward office. A list of licensed plumbers is provided on the PMC (Pune Municipal Corporation) website and also at the Additional City Engineer, Sewerage Department at the main building of the Corporation Pimpri Chinchwad.
Obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Municipal Storm Water and Drain Department
The developer/builder has to obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Storm Water and DrainDepartment in the Pune Municipal Corporation.
Obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Chief Fire Officer
The Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2006 mandates every developer/builder to obtain a Fire License or NOC to obtain a Building Plan Approval from the Maharashtra Urban Development department.
Documents required to obtain it are:
- Slip of the payment of Fire Protection Fund Fees and Additional Fire Protection Fund Fees paid to MIDC.
- Photograph of the fire system in working condition.
- Alarm or Ventilation consultant certificate.
- Applied for Number of towers(With tower numbers and name)
- As-built area statement from Licensed Architect with floor wise area and indicating the total cover area on each floor.
- Certificate of Compliance with Provisional Fire Approval submitted by License Agency appointed by the company.
- No Dues Certificate from MIDC Accounts Dept. (only if charges are paid in the incremental condition).
The process of obtaining Fire NOC can be completed in 15 days from the date of application received along with the required documents.
The concerned authority responsible for issuing No objection certificate or fire license is listed below:
If the Built-up area is up to 10,000 sq. Meters and building height is up to 24 Meters the Divisional Fire Officer sanctions the NOC.
If the Built-up area is up to 15,000 sq. Meters and building height is up to 30 Meters the Deputy Chief Fire Officer sanctions the NOC.
If the Built-up area exceeds 15,000 sq. Meters and building height exceeds 30 Meters the Chief Fire Officer sanctions the NOC.
Obtain Environmental Clearance
Increasing construction activities have a severe impact on the environment. The developer/builder has to hire an environmental consultant and get an Environmental Impact Assessment Report prepared by him which is to be submitted to the State Level Expert Appraisal Committee which in turn refers it to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority. A project with more than 20000 sq Mt area requires environmental clearance in the city of Pune.
Obtain No Objection Certificate (NOC) form the Coastal Zone Management Authority
The developer/builder has to obtain a NOC from the Coastal Zone Management Authority if the project is near the Coastal Area.
Obtain Borewell Registration Certificate
Maharashtra is one of the few states which has enacted the Groundwater (Regulation for Drinking Water Purposes) Act. It is enacted to regulate the overexploitation of watersheds and prohibition of construction of new wells. The developer/builder has to obtain a Borewell Registration Certificate.
Obtain No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Airport Authority of India
The developer/builder has to obtain a NOC for height clearance from the Airport Authority of India. The construction work shall not start before the issue of NOC. The builder/developer who is constructing a building which is up to 20 km from the visual flight and the height of the desired structure is more than 150 meters above the ground level has to obtain a NOC from the Airport Authority of India. NOC can be obtained by the Airport Authority of India on behalf of the Central Government in respect of All Civil Aerodromes. For Defense Aerodromes NOC for height, clearance is issued by respective defense authorities. A building with a maximum height of 70 Meters can be erected in the area of Pune City Municipal Corporation depending upon the area of plot and width of the road. Some of the defense authorities are:
- Indian Air force
- Indian Navy
- Indian Coast Guard
- Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
The revised list of Civil and Defense airport can be viewed on the AAI website.
The documents required to apply for NOC from AAI are:
- Signed print out of submitted online NOC application with NOC ID.
- Site Location, Plan, duly approved and authenticated by the Municipal authorities/Urban Development Authority.
- Surveyed site Elevation from a qualified professional or an agency, authorized for the purpose by the concerned department or the Municipal Authority.
- Undertaking on Form 1A provided on the AAI website on a Non-Judicial Stamp Paper of Rs 10/-.
Ancient Monument Approval
With rapid urbanisation, the monuments are facing tremendous pressure of increased construction activity. National Monuments Authority is mandated to regulate such construction activity within the vicinity of the monuments. Construction activities are prohibited and regulated within 100 metres to 300-metre distance from monuments. The developer/builder has to obtain a Certificate from the Director of Archaeological Department, Maharashtra State, showing that the lands under project do not include monuments notified by the Archaeological Department, Heritage buildings and Precincts. Such certificate should also mention the distance to be kept around such places if any. The application for NOC shall be made at least 3 months before the commencement of the construction activity.
Permission for Excavation/Royalty payment
In a judgment by the Supreme Court of India by Justice Ranjan Gogoi the Supreme Court held the Government is not entitled to any royalty if the developer/builder excavates for laying building foundation. The judgement can be accessed here:
Road Access/Highway/Expressway Permission
Without prior approval from the Highway Authority, no one is allowed to construct, form or layout any means of access to or from a highway, or erect any building or materially alter any existing building, extend any excavation or construct or form or layout any work. Parallel service roads for a two-way traffic is necessary for constructing or erecting any building near the highway. Minimum 12 Metre parallel road has to be provided.
For buildings near Expressway: buildings should be located at a distance of 15m from an expressway (the distance between the center of the road and building will be 60m),
National highway: buildings should be located at a distance of 3 to 6m from the National Highway (the distance between the center of the road and the building will be 60m),
State highway: buildings should be located at a distance of 4.5m from the state highway (the distance between the centre of the road and building will be 20m).
Similarly, the buildings should be located at a distance of 4.5m from the district highway (the distance between the centre of the road and the building will be 15m).
The developer/builder has to obtain permission from the Public Works Department for installation of a lift/escalator. A separate license is required to operate it. The Maharashtra Lifts, Escalators, and Moving Walking Acts states that
- Every owner of a place intending ( i ) to install a lift in such a place, or (ii) to make additions or alterations to a lift installed at such a place is required to apply in form ‘A’ to the Inspector of lifts before any work in connection with the installation of the lift or addition or alteration thereto is started. Every such application should be accompanied by two sets of plans of the installation or, as the case may be of the additions and alterations.
- On receipt of an application, the inspector of lifts inquires and makes the applicant furnish the required information and then forwards it with his remarks to the Public Works Department, Chief Engineer (Electrical), who may, thereupon, either grant or refuse the permission applied for.The time required to issue a permit to install a lift is-4 Weeks, Intimation of Remarks raise by Inspector of Lifts is within –1Week,
Time required for issuing permission to install a lift after compliance of the remarks raised by the Inspector of Lifts is -4Weeks.
Here is a sample of Form A for application for installation of lifts
(See rule 3)
Application for permission to install Lifts *or for making additions or alterations to Lift installed
(To be submitted to the Inspector of Lifts, Bombay, Public Works Department, Bombay)
Full name and address of the owner ————————————————————
Name and address of the agent of the owner if any——————————————-
Address of the premises where the lift is to be installed————————————
*or for making additions or alterations.
Whether a license has been previously granted (details to be given)————————
Address of the premises where the lift is to be installed————————————-
Name and address of the firm who will install the lift —————————————–
*or make additions or alterations.
Type and make of the lift proposed to be erected———————————————-
(A sketch of the lift and erection plans should be attached)
The rated maximum speed of the lift car——————————————————–
The maker’s or designer’s rated capacity in weight——————————————–
The maximum number of passengers in addition to
the lift operator which the lift can carry.—————————————————–
The total weight of the lift car carrying the maximum load———————————–
The weight of the counterweight —————————————————————
The number, description, weight and size of the supporting cables————————-
Bottom clearance ———————————————————————————
Top clearance ————————————————————————————-
Details of the construction of the overhead arrangement
With the weight and sizes of the beams ——————————————————–
The developer/builder has to apply to the waterworks department to get a water connection. The documents required for getting a water connection are
1) Duly filled in the application form for new water connection
2) Receipt of payment of property tax or date of application
3) Location map of the property
4) Affidavit in a prescribed format.
The connection charges depend on the type of water taps and the diameter of the road.
Getting various construction approvals from the concerned departments is a time consuming process. Most of the departments do not follow the timelines laid down. When questioned for such delays the Authorities defend themselves by citing shortage of staff to shrug off their responsibility. This causes a delay in the timely delivery of projects and increase in the construction costs. Implementations of norms for approvals should be strictly monitored. The department personnel should be trained for dealing for such approvals only then it may improve the efficiency of the staff and streamline the approval process.
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