Soon, no BMC nod needed for changes to your flat

  • Faisal Malik, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 05, 2016 09:17 IST

You will soon no longer need the civic body’s permission to make layout changes in your flat. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to do away with the mandatory nod that flat owners need before making structural changes in their apartments. The move is expected to bring relief to lakhs of Mumbaiites, who will only have to inform the civic body about the change that they intend to make.

The proposal will be part of the new Development Control Rules (DCR) to be published by the BMC this month, said civic chief Ajoy Mehta. The civic body is also taking steps to make building permissions transparent to weed out corruption and irregularities.

“Permission [from BMC] will not be needed if structural stability of the flat is not affected. It means if the desired changes in the layout do not affect pillars and columns of the flat, then the BMC permission will not remain mandatory,” said Mehta, while addressing the ‘Maharashtra Investment Seminar’, jointly organised by the state government and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), on Wednesday.

Mehta said similar rules will be made applicable in case of repair work as well. “However, if the owner desires to move the kitchen or toilet from its existing place inside the flat, then he will need to obtain prior permission from the housing society,” he said.

The details of the decision, such as the kind of internal changes for which prior permission is not needed and also safeguards to prevent any structural damage that could endanger lives of the residents, would be published as part of the DC regulations.

The BMC will also make major changes in the process of builders getting construction permissions, with an eye on improving the index of ease of doing business in Mumbai. “Remarks and noting of every official who will handle such files will be made public. Officials have to mention reason if permission was rejected, which can be seen even by general public by logging on to the BMC portal,” said Mehta, adding that even complaints received by BMC against giving construction permission will also be made public, he added.

The objective behind the move is to make the entire process transparent and fix responsibility.

Further, architects will be given star rating that will help them in getting approvals for building plans. For instance, an architect with a five-star rating will need no permission from the BMC for getting plans approved. This will be called as risk-based approval in which the architect will be held responsible for any wrongdoing.

Another major change that will be part of the new DCR will be BMC doing away with road digging-up work – a frequent exercise for utility works – for the entire year. It will be implemented by planning in advance in coordination with the government agencies concerned and private companies. “This will help us to plan the digging up of roads across the city in a specific period. It will be like one slot for all for digging up roads,” Mehta said.

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