GUWAHATI, July 21 - Guwahatians are allegedly subjected to unnecessary harassment in the name of issuing building permission nowadays. For, the process of building permission undergoes an avoidable lengthy exercise. The process starts with the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) and ends with the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC).
It is alleged that in some cases, applicants are subjected to the misery of visiting the offices of these two agencies even for a year at a stretch to get their building permission.
President of the Association of Architects, Assam, Tikendrajit Saikia told this newspaper that the GMDA and the GMC have �evolved a stringent process� for granting the building permission. Due to this, a lot of construction projects have been lying pending with the GMDA or the GMC authorities.
This entire building permission process can sometimes take several months or a year due to the rigid process of issuing the no objection certificate (NOC). At present, the GMDA issues �Planning permit� and then the file is referred to the GMC, which issues the NOC. The process designed in the GMDA for issuing the NOC is again repeated in the GMC, which includes the repetition of the exercises of inspection of the sites and the drawing plans.
In the process, there is wastage of enormous amount of time for the people, who have to keep slogging to receive their NOCs. There is an urgent need for reform of this tedious building permission process, Saikia said, adding that he earnestly pleads for entrusting a single agency � either the GMDA or the GMC to deal with this matter.
President of the Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers� Association (AREIDA), PK Sarma said that the system of two agencies examining an application for building permission, unfortunately is the product of the provisions of the Guwahati Building Construction Bye Laws 2014, which assigns GMDA the role of construction controls pertaining to Master Plan and Zoning Regulations; called �Planning Permit�. Thereafter, the file has to be forwarded to the GMC, which is to regulate construction as per the Building Bye Laws 2014, called �Building Permit�.
He said that his organisation feels that the role of the GMDA can be completely eliminated by a simple software. It is made known that the software has been developed and it will be launched shortly.
Since the current system has completely failed to establish the rule of law and has been reduced to a tool for harassing the applicants, the crying need of the hour is to immediately launch the online application format as is being done elsewhere in the country. It is also important for the government to work in tandem with the stakeholders as even the online system will be a miserable failure if vested interest are given a free run, said the AREIDA president.
President of the Senior Engineers� Forum, Guwahati, KG Deb Krori and its past president SR Saikia said the GMC is accountable to urbanites for all urban facilities, amenities and collection of all types of rates and taxes, while the GMDA is responsible for all development works in the city. For the purpose of building permission, depending on the volume of works, the GMDA, equipped with proper technical staff, at best, can act as the technical wing of the GMC.
Both of these agencies should act as per arrangement with a definite time frame, fixed by a rule. The GMC should accord permission within definite time beyond which a petitioner would deem permission accorded, said the present and past presidents of the Senior Engineers� Forum.