Ease of Doing Construction

Sameer Sharma
07 Jun 2016


Measures to reform and reinvent grant of building permissions by urban local bodies have largely followed what is called a single window approach in which all documents are submitted to a single designated window (person, agency). The window, in turn, obtains all the permission from several agencies and gives the construction permission.  The variants are compensatory penalty for delays (e.g. AP, MP), complete online submission (e.g. Pune), reduce the number of departments giving permission (e.g model byelaws), making the submissions simple and hassle free, charging more for giving permissions within a shorter time (e.g. green channel of UDAs) and deemed permission if not given in a certain timeline.

However, all these are based on the paradigm that verification has to be done before and is based on the principle of ‘verify, then trust’. Suppose we invert the equation to ‘trust, then verify’ and in the new paradigm the permission is given and inspection done later. Here, applicants apply completely online and the documents are machine verified. After the verification by the machine, the applicants is informed about the payments to be made and once the payments are made, the building permission is issued immediately. The preparation work to be done is that all details of the approved layout, etc are available fro comparison to be made by the machine. In this connection the recent initiative by the State of AP is an instance.

A major concern is some unscrupulous elements misusing the trust. There are two ways of getting over this concern. First, by putting the building plan submitted by the applicant in the public domain and, second, ensuring that site inspection is done within a set timeline, say, 15 days by the building inspectors. The inspection notes of the building inspector should also be placed in the public domain with the building plan. This is called partial disintermediation and even better is complete disintermediation in which even the inspection is given to an outside agency. In Bhubaneswar end-to-end processing of building applications has been given to a private agency. Therefore, the best way is to combine the processes followed by AP and Bhubaneswar.

The key difference here is that the process has been flipped. Earlier in all processes some sort of prior inspection by town planners was required giving them room to design novel forms of rent-seeking. In the new way the process is flipped – building permissions are given without any human intervention followed by inspections and field visits. Post-approval inspections with the building plans in the public domain and the inspections will lead to the fulfilment of the idea of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance. In plural cultures, triggers have to be identified in Public Programs and a virtuous cycle generated. Constant monitoring, identifying the retarding signals and quickly taking corrective measures are likely to lead to virtuous cycles continuing for a long time. In this way small changes have the potential to bring about big positive effects, especially in the long run.

Sameer Sharma,

Additional Secretary(Smart Cities),

Ministry of Urban Development 

Disclaimer – All views are personal

Total Comments - 13

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  • DHIRAJ PATHAK - 6 years ago

    Service is very good

  • PRASHANT_532 - 6 years ago

    Respected sir, I am fully satishfied this gov.
    I hope INDIA become a most powerful nation of the world.
    My gov doing so well and i am happy with us.
    Namo ji you are greatest person of INDIA.
    thankyou,JAI HIND

  • Sudhir kumar - 6 years ago

    Respected, prime minister sir,
    I want to give suggestion on health sector. A lot of doctors does not go in chc and phc and their salary per monthly paid by state govt and central govt, there is a lot of corruption,
    Sir think as well as in teaching school basic school, secondary school, theacher does not comes in school and their salary paid by state govt, If you give guidelines to state govt to do something

    Sudhir kumar

  • Ankit shukla - 6 years ago

    Respected sir/mam I highly appreciate Mr Narendra modi ji who is our prime minister. I want to say that in u p your position is not appropriate for future so please something do develop bcz where I live district banda is not good position so it’s humble request to u to take a good decision………….. Thanks
    Your faithfully

  • Shankarlal Bishnoi - 6 years ago

    good sir

  • Kushagra Singh - 6 years ago

    sewage system should be improved in KANPUR the sewage is totally dumped into the GANGA RIVER no one is taking care to block the sewage from going to the river
    the ganga river is considered as a holi river but it is being polluted
    the pollution and waste management should be really taken into serious consideration
    # hope kanpurs problems might be considered so that i can say i gave the right vote to bjp in 2014 after becoming 18 above and elligible to vote because this was my first vote ever

  • Kushagra Singh - 6 years ago

    flyover pulls in KANPUR are very very slow paced in making i give an example the COD PULL is being made since 2004 still it is not completed till 2016 so you can expect that how much more years it would take to complete it….it is a 4 lane pull of 300 meters still its not complete only about 60% of work is being done
    the pace of making the pulls is very slow the PWD department should be revolutionized

  • Kushagra Singh - 6 years ago

    KANPUR’S traffic jam is world famous as one of the ipl players tweeted the jam when coming from lucknow to kanpur
    there are no traffic rules no traffic lights no one is considered of the traffic lights i think traffic light system should be strictly followed in kanpur to avoid the jams extending for 3-4 hours

  • Kushagra Singh - 6 years ago

    conditon of roads in KANPUR is world famous
    as soon as new road is made the water works department digs the road for putting pipes but does not make it again and the road is left in dig condition many accidents have occured but still no one bothers of this none of the state govt has taken care i expect from you that this should be taken into consideration # A MODI FAN

  • Kushagra Singh - 6 years ago

    people of KANPUR(U.P.) are seriously suffering from electricity problem
    the power cut has reached nearly 18 hours even in areas like swaroop nagar which is considered among good areas in kanpur this problem should be taken into consideration and being one of the mahanagars kanpur should be included in the smart cities list all of us had voted for b.j.p in 2014 elections and i think this problem should be considered