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L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Haul over the coal Fuel for thought More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Streamlining mandatory third party cover Adharma of opposition politics Kudos to NDTV... Medical costs hit the roof... Paytm karo... Vibrant Gujarat Kinetic Karnataka The Swadeshi Trump WTO Meet: resolved to meet again The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Shale gas and its shallow future No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform An enemy’s enemy is a friend Wanted: a second airport for Chennai The Jan Dhan bonanza A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… The why of tax incentives Five star activism stalls development activity Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks GNS - 100: our first subscriber Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai A friendly business group Delhi Chalo... 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When online building permits work….

Tamil Nadu could benefit from looking at the record of Telangana in the matter of ease of doing business. The regular television advertisements on this subject by the Telangana government promote a favourable image further fortified by experiences recounted by business leaders of Tamil Nadu attracted to invest in Telangana. TN should go for a time bound digital clearance of project applications eliminating interface with ministers and government officials. 

Such an approach can extend to the numerous clearances needed by the citizens for obtaining building permits, registrations, etc. There are systems in place; sadly ignorance of these by citizens and poor implementation result in corruption. I cite my own pleasant experience:

While reconstructing my house during 2012-13, my contractor suggested setting apart Rs. 5 lakh as speed money for getting various clearances. When I protested, he mentioned that it was the norm and he will leave it to me to obtain these directly. 

I agreed and visited the CMDA. The chief town planner apprised me of a provision to apply for the permit online with guarantees by my architect and myself  not to deviate from the permitted plan. He assured me that I would be advised within 20 working days of my application. I complied with his advice. On the 20th working day I received a call from CMDA advising me that my building permit needs a few small changes in the measurements for the balcony which, after done, the permit would be given. 

I resubmitted the application with the suggested changes and got the building permit approved on payment of the requisite fees in a couple of days! Likewise, on completion of the building, I requested CMDA to inspect; the official took measurements of the completed building and found it conforming to the permit. I received the completion certificate in the next couple of days!

Similar was my experience in getting power and water connections. No speed money at all!  

CMDA should publicise this provision and ensure strict compliance.  The recent announcement by the government to make applications for building permits to be submitted online with promise of decision in 30 days is welcome.



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