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The Master Plan 2015-2035 has recommended the government to outsource building permissions to restore the credibility of concerned institutions in the summer capital. 

“One of the key reasons for the violations in Srinagar Local Area is the lack of individual accountability of the planners, engineers and enforcement officers in the SMC, SDA and other ULBs,” the recommendations of Master Plan 2015-2035 reads.

Officials informed that the observations in the Master Plan are apt as the Srinagar city has witnessed massive violation of Master Plan with commercial constructions coming up in the residential in broad day light with officials of SMC, SDA, facilitating such violations.  

“The institutions should create systems for not only fast tracking the processes but also shall be prompt in holding the officers and officials accountable for violations and dilatory tactics adopted in dealing with the citizens,” it adds.

“One major intervention which can take the Municipal Corporation and the Development Authorities a long way towards planned development and restore its credibility is the outsourcing of the building permissions, initially the residential, by registering qualified Architects and Town Planners after building their capacity to handle the permissions also eliminating the role of draftsmen in the process. Town Planning Organization shall be designated as the nodal agency for assisting the ULBs and Local Authority to set the systems in place initially till the process takes off,” it states. 

Further the Master Plan suggests introduction of latest technologies in issuance and monitoring of building plans.

“One of the main reasons for the non-regulation of building activity has been the overwhelming dependence on the human element in the enforcement by the Municipal Corporation and Development Authorities. These institutions need to use the available technologies like the satellite imageries, aerial photographs, GIS software and detection software for planning, building permission and enforcement,” the draft plan reads.

“Technological intervention will facilitate transparent planning, building permission and the regulation of the building activity in the local area. These institutions should hire professional town planners who shall be supported by proper technological platform for taking the Municipal Corporation and Development Authorities to 21st Century. The trend of the employment of the Architects, Engineers and Draftsmen in the planning wing of these institutions should be stopped forthwith,” the plan adds.

It states that the building permission process is so protracted and becoming an as alibi for violations. “In order to ensure that planned development is not impeded by the protracted building permission process, single window BOCA clearance system should be adopted by the Srinagar Development Authority. It is therefore, suggested that any public expenditure expected to be incurred on any activity shall be reflected in the Annual Budget of the Authority and countersigned by the authority. The Authority shall be kept abreast of any such investment and activity and should be started only after seeking permission from the Authority,” it states.