CMDA’s e-governance to simplify approval process for developers

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) receives on average 5-6 applications for special buildings and one application for multistoried building every day. While the developers complain of inordinate delay in the approval process, the authorities counter stating that on many occasions complete documentation do not accompany the application in order to catch the deadline for submitting the application. After a series of meetings with the developers, the CMDA has now come out with unique software to simplify the planning approval process.

There are more than 1,000 rule parameters which are to be broken into sub-modules.  It took time to understand the complexities involved in the whole system, says official sources in CMDA.  Basically it works on the colour codes and text. Users’ manual has already been uploaded on the site which explains the aims and objectives of the software.

Though the colour codes have been reduced to 40 now, efforts still continue to reduce it further as there is scope for further improvement. All that the users should do is to follow the colour codes and texts in the prescribed format including font type and size.  A few architects have already tested the software and found it user friendly.  For the simple drawings, it will hardly take 5 minutes.  The developers will have to adhere to the prescribed format and terms and conditions for computing FSI eligibility. In fact more than 60 files submitted earlier for special buildings and MSB have been checked by the CMDA and it tallies with the prescribed FSI norms.

A password will be provided to the users so that they can go the website, download it and use it. They can access the site any time to ascertain the status of their application.  If correction is needed, it can be done immediately. The CMDA is still studying the security aspect of it as well. The consultant is in the process of fine-tuning the security aspects for uploading it on the website.

The CMDA has ensured to go live with the files after trial run of over 100 CDs with timings and drawings.  Initially there was no pick up as developers did not submit the drawings in the prescribed format for the test run. In order to train the developers’ representatives, in-house training has been imparted and four batches have so far been completed.  As a follow up exercise, CMDA will now approach the Institute of Architects to arrange for a similar training exercise.

After the test run is over, CMDA will formally launch the Automated Planning Permission Application Scrutiny (APPAS) software which is likely to take another 1-1.5 months.  However, developers can submit the applications even now in the new software format.  The CMDA feels that considerable time, man-hours and commuting to the authorities would be saved once the implementation is successful.


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