Decision on building permits faster

New directive from Thiruvananthapuram Corporation sets out responsibilities of civil servants at different levels

The Thiruvananthapuram Corporation has issued a directive to the authorities to reduce delays in processing building permits and ensure swift action against illegal constructions. The directives, issued by the secretary, aim to set responsibility at different levels so that applications are not blocked at any level.

A recent assessment of building permit cases revealed problems, including laxity in issuing notices against illegal construction, lack of follow-up even in cases where notices have been issued, lack of acting on complaints, breach of court orders, and lack of clarity in responses. From now on, Assistant Engineers (AEs) will be tasked as nodal officers for all kinds of building permits. This was done after noticing a delay in the processing of cases due to the reluctance of senior officials to assume their responsibilities.

Inform the requester

Officials should ensure that all required documents are submitted when applying for a building permit. The applicant should be informed of the missing documents and invited to submit the full package. Requests received must be entered in the construction request log and returned to the supervisor or the RA, who must conduct an on-site visit within five days to verify that all rules are being followed. In case of discrepancy, the applicant must be informed within five days.

For files relating to larger buildings, which must be transmitted to higher authorities, the RA must ensure that the Deputy Managing Engineers give their opinion within three days, the Executive Engineers within six days and the Secretary within 10 days. days. All actions, including issuing a notice, authorizing or rejecting the permit, should be noted in the construction request register.

Against illegal constructions

In the case of illegal constructions, a notice must be issued under Section 406 of Kerala Municipal Law. A notice must be issued for a hearing if the explanation is not satisfactory and the illegal construction is not regularized. Action, including demolition, can be taken if the owner refuses to follow directions. Failure to take action against illegal construction in any area, citing lack of complaints as a reason, will be considered a dereliction of duty.

Occupancy certificates

Although the rules state that certificates of occupancy must be provided within 15 days of submitting the application, this does not happen in most cases. To this end, a similar setting of responsibility and the maximum time limit for action at different levels has been specified, on the model of building permit applications.