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Elections hit building plan approvals

13TH_CMDA_1361968fLok Sabha elections have put the brakes on a new system of building plan approval in the city, which allows the submission of plans at the three regional offices. This has led to widespread delay in construction activity.

While the approval process has made some headway in the Central Chennai region, where 60 percent of the building plan approval applications submitted after March 13 is pending, the situation is far worse in North and South Chennai.

The civic body introduced a new system of building plan approval in three regional offices in March 13. Engineers at the 15 zonal offices accepted building plan applications in the earlier system.

However, officials are unable to offer the benefits of the new scheme to residents owing to the elections. Over 250 of the 400 applications received between March 13 and April 30 in the Central Chennai region are pending.

“The condition in the North Chennai region is even worse. Building plan applications are not even admitted,” said a licensed surveyor. “I submitted two applications in North Chennai. They refused to accept them,” he added.

Processing of a large number of the applications in the South Chennai region has also been delayed due to the elections, said an official. The civic body has not compiled information on pending applications in the North and South Chennai regions, so far. Normally, each of the 15 zones admits at least 30 files for building approval every week.

The city has over 12 lakh properties covered in the property tax net in the 15 zones.

Some residents alleged that the hurried implementation of the new system had affected the construction of their homes.

“The new system was intended to help residents and prevent corruption. It is a good system with separate teams of engineers for enforcement and approval. But the engineers should be more efficient for the system to be of use to residents,” said K. Suresh Kumar, a licensed surveyor.

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