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India to fast-track building plans

One of the main causes of delay to construction schemes is getting the plans approved by the relevant government body. These periods of inactivity can often overrun and harm the project, as well as the firms behind it. In a country like India that aims to rapidly expand its construction industry, this can be a major obstacle for companies to overcome.

Luckily, the Indian government has taken steps to prevent this in its capital. It has recognised that approval delays are negatively affecting India's global ranking for ease of doing business, so it has set up a panel to fast-track certain building plans. This should speed up construction, boosting the Delhi build and interiors industry.


The High-Powered Review and Monitoring Committee

From now on, all building plans will be sent to Delhi's new High Powered Review and Monitoring Committee (HPRMC). This organisation will be made up of 16 members and chaired by the vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

The committee is the brainchild of Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu, India's minister of urban development. Mr Naidu was concerned about the possibility of India falling down in the global rankings for ease of doing business, so has taken action to make things simpler for construction firms and reduce project delays.

The officials making up the HPRMC give a good indication of what aspects of a construction project will be taken into consideration. Understandably, a representative of Delhi Fire Service will ensure new buildings are safe, while the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Board will also have members present.

Interestingly, the secretary of Delhi Urban Arts Commission will also be on the HPRMC, presumably to provide judgement on culturally significant buildings.


What projects will be affected?

The new rules mean that any commercial or industrial construction projects covering an area of 5,000 sq m or more will be able to send their plans to the HPRMC for approval. For residential projects, the area of land they cover must be 10,000 sq m or more.

Once a building plan has been submitted to the HPRMC, the committee will enable them within 30 days if there are no issues with the design. This quick turnaround is expected to make construction in the capital a lot easier, which is hoped to boost the industry and help it to grow.


A boost to Delhi's construction industry?

So, is it likely to work? If the HPRMC can commit to a 30-day turnaround on approving building plans then it will certainly allow construction projects to get underway quicker. Reducing unnecessary delays would certainly boost Delhi's construction industry and enable more projects to get off the ground.

The committee will also meet once every 30 days to ensure there are no interdepartmental issues delaying the approval of construction plans. Any applicants that do not agree with the HPRMC's decision can write directly to the member-secretary of the committee, ensuring appeals don't get caught up in bureaucracy and red tape.

The committee will also enable more foreign direct investment (FDI) in Delhi. In a statement, it said: "This initiative will help in enabling FDI flows into the construction sector in respect of which the minimum built up area has been reduced to 20,000 sq m from the earlier 50,000 sq m."

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