Photo: Anthony Azavedo

In a bid to promote construction activity in urban areas, the Indian government has decided to substantially reduce the number of approvals and no objections required for taking up construction projects.

Dr .Nandita Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India, informed that at present 30 to 50 approvals were required to be taken from central and state governments resulting in an average approval time of 90 to 600 days for construction projects. She said that based on the parameters of procedures, cost and time taken for approvals, India was ranked 182 among 185 countries, adversely impacting investment.

Minister of Environment and Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar agreed that most of the forest and environment related regulations could be included in the building byelaws to ensure compliance by the concerned urban local bodies. He also said that his ministry would soon come out with different guidelines for different plot sizes which could also be similarly incorporated in Development Control Regulations. Javadekar informed that issues relating to coastal zone regulations would also be resolved soon. The delineation of exact boundaries of 639 ecologically sensitive zones would be speeded up to remove ambiguities that would enable quick approvals. The problems of hill areas in finding land for housing for the poor with most of the land categorized as forest land would also be looked into, he promised.

Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapati Raju said that his ministry would furnish necessary maps and information regarding height restrictions for construction in the funnel zone of all airports, to the concerned urban local bodies for necessary action.

The Department of Culture informed that the prevailing restrictions for construction near monuments were being revisited and maps for each site would soon be published for the benefit of urban local bodies for according quick approvals. Likewise, the Department of Consumer Affairs said that the National Building Code-2015 would be finalised by September this year to enable single window clearance for construction projects.

Venkaiah Naidu, the Minister of Urban Development and Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, said that the government, to the extent possible, should enable a mechanism wherein only a minimum number of clearances would be required and the same accorded online in a maximum of 30 days.

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