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State gives power to self certifying only ground plus one projects to architects

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REUTERS/Arko Datta/Files REUTERS/Arko Datta/Files

Following the pressure from the Central government and World Bank for improving its ranking in Ease of Doing Business (EDB), Maharashtra government speeded up the construction permissions process, which brought doubts in the real estate industry. But after that in its latest notification state urban development department has given rights to self-certify and approve their own projects rather than rushing to the civic body.

As reported by the Economics Times, the state urban development department, has put the architects in thinking spot, after in its latest notification which gives rights to the architects to self certify the projects, it also says the that only ground plus one storey buildings can be self certified. The architects in Mumbai have expressed a concern over this new notification. Architects expressed that the purpose of making the clearances simpler is defeated, due the new notification will only be applied to bungalows and not towers. The state government’s notification on 2 March was to expedite the building approval system, and the notification said that architects can approve buildings with the heights of between 3.9m to 8.4m. The categories of structures have been enlisted as ‘low-risk’ and ‘moderate-risk’ buildings. The land on which they can be built must be vacant.

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Only those architects who are registered with the Council of Architecture and Licensed Surveyors with BMC can certify buildings in low-risk categories. Architects registered with Council of Architecture and Licensed Surveyors registered with BMC, and who have obtained at least ten occupation certificates / building completion certificates or both, will be entitled to certify buildings which fall moderate risk categories. On the completion of the work architects will have to submit completion plans to the BMC, the architects will also have to submit periodical site progress and inspection report to the civic body. The architects will be held responsible if any building violation are done in the approved plan. The notification also states that the architects will be authorised to issue approvals with digital signature.

Earlier this month..

With these new regulations, the state government has also contradicted itself by earlier passing a rule on 8 March, which says that engineers and architects will be held liable for defects and structural flaws that occur after 10 years of construction.

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When this was proposed a lot of disagreement was seen within the architect community. Architects stated that the new Real Estate Regulation Act, 2016 which was passed in 15 March 2016 by the central government, already has a defect liability clause included, which says that builders will be held responsible for any flaws in the building in only for the first three years. Architects also had a concern with buyers making any structural alterations when it came out carrying out interior work post possession.

The state government’s provision also marked a loophole, the provision says that the rule will only be applied to those projects which have a build up area of 20,000 sq.m and above, which roughly sums upto 40 storey tower with four flats in each floor. The state government had passed this provision after referring to World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2017 report.