Here's Why Single-Window Clearances Must Become A Reality For Realty
If the word 'delay' has become a defining term for India’s real estate sector, much could be blamed on the absence of a single-window clearance system. While it would be a one-sided approach to blame everything on the slow pace at which projects get clearances from multiple government departments before work on them can be started, it would be an equally grave mistake to undermine the detrimental role they play in making matters worse.
According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) estimates, it takes long before a housing project is able to get a formal approval from all departments concerned in the state of Maharashtra.
Ownership certificate: 15 days
Building layout approvals: 1 month
Building permit from building proposal office: 30-45 days
Non-agricultural permission: 3 months
NOC from tree authority: 30-60 days.
NOC from the storm water and drain department: 15-30 days
NOC from sewerage department: 15-30 days
Approval from electric department: 15-30 days
Approval from traffic & coordination department: 30 days
Approval from chief fire officer: 30 days
Environment clearance: 1 month to one year
NOC from Archaeological Survey of India: 6 months
NOC from pollution control board: 2 months
Approval from Airport Authority of India: 3-4 months
Commencement certificate: 15-30 days
Approval from Central Ground Water Authority: 60 days
Approval from Coastal Zone Management Authority:6 months to 1 year
Permission for excavation: 15-30 days
Approvals for other common facilities: 30 days
Permission from NHAI: 60 days.
Permission from lift installation from PWD: 30-45 days
Permission from Electricity Distribution Authority: 15 days
Occupancy certificate: 60 days
Building completion certificate from BMC: 30 days
Permission for permanent power and transport from BMC: 30 days
Permission for permanent water connection: 45 days
Permission for permanent sewerage connection: 30 days
A housing project would invariably miss its completion deadline even if all these departments individually delay the approvals merely by two or three days. In light of this fact, the government must launch a single-window clearance system for housing projects, without any further delays. This has been a long-pending demand from India’s real estate developers. If all approvals can be obtained at one place without the developer having to go to multiple locations and yet wait for the NOCs to come by, instances of project delays would be limited. Not only will it save a lot of time but human interaction that often leads to under-the-table dealings, can be minimised. It then paves the way for as much transparency as possible.
The developers are also of the view that all approving authorities should intimate the applicant within the first 10-15 days after the application is submitted, about the progress. “The state must set up a separate committee for giving environment clearance to the construction sector, due to the large number of ongoing projects. At present, there is only one state environment appraisal committee that takes care of all residential, commercial and industrial projects in the state. Having a specialised environment appraisal committee for the construction sector, will bring in higher efficiency and speed up the approval process,” FICCI said in a statement.