The self-certification scheme launched by the Chandigarh administration for passing of building plans of residential premises has failed, if the poor response it has evoked is any indication.
Reason: Complicated forms and cumbersome formalities, as a result of which only one person has opted for the facility since its launch in 2008.
The process of applying for approval of building plans under the scheme, which needs involvement of all consultants and the owner, is seen as the prime problem. The estate office requires 15 pages of complicated forms to be filled by the owner of the plot, architect, structural engineer, even the plumber.
The architect has to inform the competent authority on completion of every stage, and the architect even faces cancellation of licence if there is deviation from the plan submitted.
Besides, an applicant has to comply with a rigid stipulation asking for intimating the competent authority if registered architect or the registered structural engineer or even the licensed plumber is changed after submission of application or during the construction of building, through a registered letter within seven days of occurrence of the change. The construction work has to be suspended until a replacement is engaged.
Mocking the scheme, Surinder Bahga, chairman of Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) Publication Board and also a nominated councillor, termed it “unfriendly”. “The process puts architects under immense pressure, and a minor mistake can cost them dear,” rued Bahga.
Vinod Joshi, a leading city-based architect, said that the scheme had failed to serve its purpose and the administration should make changes on pattern of Delhi and Punjab. “The scheme has failed as the there is no provision for empanelment of architects for the purpose of approval of building plans, and because it covers only residential buildings,” said Joshi.
Blaming the architects, UT sub-divisional officer (SDO), buildings, Suresh Kumar said architects were not willing to take responsibility as under the scheme they were liable for action in case of violations.
However, a case in point is the simplified scheme launched by the Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) for approval of building plans by an architect, who is registered with the council of architecture. It has evoked good response.
For bringing registered architects on its panel, GMADA invited applications for empanelment and widened the scope and purview of buildings whose plans could be approved by the empanelled architects. It has empowered the empanelled architects to approve the building plans of plots for residential and industrial sites measuring up to 1,000 square yards and commercial sites such as booths, single-floor shops, shop-cum-offices (SCO) and and shop-cum-flats (SCF) where standard designs have been approved by GMADA.