The civic body ruffled many feathers when it diluted its earlier decision to demolish illegal constructions, thus giving builders an option to regularise such structures by paying a fine.
However, builders claim that such a step is necessary considering the number of permissions they need and the delays the authorities take in granting them.
Anand Gupta, secretary, Builders Association of India (BAI), said builders are always made to look like villains. "But, so much money is involved in a project, we cannot just stop construction in the middle," said Gupta. "Why is there no action against officials who delay permissions and cause us losses?"
He said permissions were delayed just to extract money from builders.
Currently, a builder needs to get more than 60 permissions for any project in the city and it takes at least four month to get clearance from each department.
According to Baba Dalvi, proprietor, SG Dalvi and Associates, a leading architectural firm, developmental activity is taking a beating due to the red-tapism. "The main casualty is the affordable houses segment as less number of houses will only increase the gap between demand and supply," he said.
A recent circular issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) fixing responsibility on architects and licensed surveyors has irked the professionals. "The BMC has no authority to take action against us. We are governed by the council of architecture," said Vilas Avachat, former chairman, Indian Institute of Architects. "They should issue licences to builders and penalise them for any error."
Activists are not convinced and blame the politician-builder-official nexus for the state of affairs. "Rules are complicated to facilitate corruption," said Ramesh Prabhu, a housing activist, adding that only homebuyers don't benefit from the rules.