In a move designed to reduce unnecessary and inordinate delays involved in approval of house building maps, the Himachal Pradesh government now plans to empower architects to clear such drawings across the state. A proposal to empower architects and draftsmen to prepare and pass architectural drawings of buildings was floated after complaints about the hassles faced by the public in getting the maps passed by the urban local body or town and country planning office.
The government plans to incorporate the new measure in the amendment proposed to the Town & Country Planning Act. It would not only reduce pressure on government offices but also reduce harassment of residents.
"In order to check unauthorised construction activities the government also plans to make empanelled architects accountable for compliance with the Town & Country Planning Act while drawing and passing building maps. Architects flouting the regulations are liable to be punished by imprisonment of up to six months, besides being stripped of their academic degrees after being given three chances,"urban development minister Sudhir Sharma said.
Rajiv Verma, an architect, said the decision to empower architects to approve house building maps was welcome. ""Not only in India but the world over the work of drawing building maps is done by architects only and the government's move will provide relief to residents of the state,"he added.
Numerous cases of unauthorised construction have yet to be cleared by the state government, which is also set to provide one time relief with charges. Earlier there was a long procedure to get building maps approved and in many cases maps were not cleared even after several years.