The Haryana building planners and engineers association (HBPEA) has approached the state human rights commission, seeking directions to the urban local bodies department (ULB) to allow diploma holders to prepare building plans in municipal areas.
In March 2013, the ULB had told municipalities that the building plans prepared by architects who did not possess full-fledged degrees would not be approved.
"Owing to the notification, more than 5,000 professionals were rendered jobless. We urge the human rights commission to intervene," said HBPEA spokesperson, PP Kapoor.
Kapoor said more than six states including Punjab, Delhi, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh have amended building bylaws to allow draughtsmen and diploma holders in civil engineering to prepare and submit building plans in the civic bodies.
"They were registered as architects by various civic bodies in Haryana on the basis of their diplomas or related qualifications for the past several decades, and their licenses were issued and renewed annually by the municipalities," he added.
Kapoor said the association did not want a status at par with degree-holder architects, but only that professionals working for the last 35 years should not lose their earning.
HPBEA convener, Karambir, said the ULB directive was a violation of human rights as it snatched the right of livelihood from the self-employed. He blamed a few ULB officials for misleading the successive chief ministers on the issue.
"After Haryana was formed in 1966 there was no architecture institute and governments allowed diploma holders to prepare and submit building plans. As we have been demanding changes in bylaws for the last several years, no association of degree holder architects has ever opposed our demand," he said.
"Professionals holding architecture degrees do not make small building plans - of individual houses or shops - in the municipality. These were always handled by diploma holders," Karambir added.
In 2006, the state government had imposed a similar ban but it was revoked on April 2, 2007, after architects protested, he said.
"The state authorities want only degree-holder architects to prepare building plans, while scores of building inspectors of civic bodies who approve these plans don't have a degree in architecture at all," said HBPEA.