The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is planning to amend certain provisions in the KMC Act, 1980, and in its Building Rules 2009, in a bid to introduce reforms for ease of doing business related to construction permits within the areas under the civic body.

A single window system will be developed for sanction and completion of buildings. The civic body is discussing certain reforms that are expected to help in promoting ease of doing business related to construction permits within KMC areas.

KMC sources said that Kolkata was selected by the World Bank for implementation of ease of doing business (EoDB) in the year 2020, along with cities like Delhi and Mumbai. Out of 11 indicators in the Doing Business Report (DBR) of World Bank, construction permits is one of the vital EoDB indicators which requires implementation. A KMC official said a meeting was convened in December last year when the secretary of the Central Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs visited Kolkata.

An interaction was held with Rajiva Sinha, chief secretary, government of West Bengal, principal secretaries of urban development and municipal affairs (UDMA), environment department and other state government officials. Officials of Eastern Railway and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) were also present. Some of the issues discussed in the interaction were the features of online building permission system (OBPS), current status of KMC relating to building sanction, ranking methodology of World Bank, especially for construction permits etc.

The chief secretary of the state government, Rajiva Sinha, later issued instructions for taking necessary steps for implementation of EoDB in construction permit. The director general of building department of KMC had placed the matter before a mayor-in-council meeting in respect of reforms needed to be undertaken by KMC by amending relevant provisions of KMC Act, 1980 and KMC Building Rules, 2009. The proposed reforms include a single window system to be developed for sanction and completion of buildings.

Secondly, a common application form for sanction and completion certificate will be prepared while KMC will collect fees for other government agencies and remit the same to the respective agencies at the time of sanction and completion certificate. Internal departments such as chief valuer and surveyor, water supply, sewerage and drainage, environment and heritage and solid waste management will be linked while external organisations such as KMDA, AAI, PCB and others will be integrated.

It was further decided that all undertakings, indemnities, declarations will be in the form of e-undertaking and are to be submitted by the license building surveyor /architect on behalf of the owner/applicant. In this regard, a necessary amendment of KMC Building Rules will be required. The whole proposal has been placed before the KMC for its consideration. It may be noted that the mayor Firhad Hakim has already announced that construction of G+3 buildings will require no building plan sanction from KMC.

Owners of these buildings will need to deposit the fees and a document. Along with these, the license builder surveyor (LBS) form needs to be submitted. The LBS will be responsible for collection of the mutation certificates from KMC to ensure there is no dispute in the title of the land, concerned. The surveyor will be conducting his /her responsibilities in accordance with the Building Act of the KMC and will be responsible for certifying the structural stability of the building. The civic body will finally conduct an enquiry.