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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Mandatory Drainage Plans for Building Approvals in Chennai Soon

Following the December floods that led to inundation of buildings situated along flood channels, the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) is contemplating a mandatory submission of drainage plans for obtaining planning permission for buildings.

The CMDA has initiated the integration of Geographic Information System (GIS) data from 21 No Objection Certificate (NOC) issuing departments with its land use map. Once the applicant uploads the form, the portal’s software will automatically display the departments requiring NOC.

“If a site is in proximity to a water body, the portal will request a drainage plan (ensuring water flow into the water body), to be obtained from a hydrologist and submitted with other documents,” explained a CMDA official.

Introduced in May 2022, the CMDA’s single-window online planning permission application system, integrated with urban and rural local bodies, including the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC), has expedited the approval process. Recently, 114 approvals were granted within 30 days of application.

While 65 planning permissions for high-rise buildings (HRB) are typically granted annually, last year saw an increase, with 135 applications received and 100 cleared. In the non-HRB category, 641 applications were received in 2022, with 455 permissions granted. In 2023, 837 applications were received, and 605 were cleared.

Despite these improvements, builders highlight delays in HRB approvals from the housing department and challenges in uploading plans on the portal. Retired professor K P Subramanian suggests mapping vulnerable areas and incorporating them into the planning permission process, with random checks for deviations. S Ramaprabhu, committee chairman of Municipal and DTCP at the Builders Association of India, proposes fixing gradient levels for different road types as part of the planning permit to ensure proper water flow.

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