In a unique move to stop faking of documents related to sanction of building plans, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has started issuing sanction plans and completion certificates with a 3D hologram.
The move has been initiated to stop corruption and streamline administrative work. To further simplify the procedure and make the system run corruption free, building department has already introduced online sanction of building plans in boroughs 6,7,9,2,12,4,5, 13,14 and 16. The owners have to apply plans for new constructions online along with no objection certificates from assessment and collection departments and clearance from Kolkata Improvement Trust (KIT) on road alignment. The KMC examines the plan and gives sanction within a month. In case of any dispute, the owner along with the architect or licensed building survey will meet the officials of the building department to resolve the problem. The building plans are issued from the boroughs. In case of tall buildings (which are above 14.5m), the proposed plans are sent to the Municipal Building Committee (MBC) for clearance.
Besides KMC officials, an architect, representatives of Fire and Emergency Services department and the traffic department of city police are members of the committee. For speedy disposal of files, the MBC meetings are held twice a month.
As the KMC has plans of the proposed buildings, before issuing completion certificates, KMC inspectors visit the house with the plan and so the deviations are immediately spotted. The minor deviations are regularised by imposing fines while, major deviations are pulled down.
Senior civic officials said it had often been found that the sanctioned plans and the completion certificates had been tampered with. The builders often changed the plans sanctioned by the KMC. Now, as the sanctioned plans will carry a 3D hologram, no one will be able to tamper with it.
It may be mentioned that when the Left Front board came to power in 1985, there was rampant corruption in the building department.
The KMC was then used to be controlled by the Kolkata district committee of the CPI(M). Joygopal Roy, a secretariat member of the committee, used to look after the civic affairs.
The KMC took one year or more to sanction a building plan. It had become a custom to construct two or more floors above the sanctioned height and the money which the builder earned by selling illegal floors were distributed among the councilors, police and some employees of KMC.
With the issuance of permission for drainage connection online, the corruption has been ironed out.
Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said it was KMC’s policy to make all permissions online. Steps are being taken so that the tax payers can pay property taxes and other fees online. “We are moving towards making our office paperless that will speed up administrative work and stem corruption and thereby giving maximum benefit to the tax payers.”