To pinch construction norms,BMC rejects 685 requests in last six months


By Accommodation Times Bureau

Since the BMC commissioner has discretional might and right to overrule peculiar regulations, builders attempt to use influence to get the concessions cleared by the commissioner.

The BMC has rejected 685 requests of builders for concessions to pinch the construction norms, in  the last six months.

The rejected applications include requests such as a lift shaft that goes right up to the building’s terrace and one to reduce the mandatory open space in a housing complex.

Not just concession-seeking applications, the BMC has also rejected 93 occupation certificate (OC)-related applications during the period ,over compromises in amenities and safety features provided.

The digits are shocking that between January 1 and June 19, the civic authority has received 2,499 special concession-related requesta and 376 OC requests.

Its amazing that around 99% of the upcoming building projects,  requests for concessions of some kind from the commissioner, said a senior BMC engineer. “These builders know their requests are not in keeping with the rules and that these are bound to be rejected. But they take their chances, assuming that the civic chief will not scan the details and will clear the proposals.”

“We rejected some concessions as well as OC proposals as not all the documents required were attached with the files.”

Builders are always disreputed for not fulfilling building construction norms,and manipulating rules to hike their profits and overpowering the buyers to accept their terms.

Shirish Sukhatme, former president of PEATA (Practising Engineers, Architects and Town Planner’s Association), said, “It is good sign that they have begun to detect instances of manipulation and reject such concession requests. The civic chief has enormous discretionary powers to give various concession for new buildings. He can reduce the required dimension of open spaces in a building and waive off many other rules — but only after considering that these do not affect the fire, health and neighbourhood safety. It is not possible for a commissioner to check all the proposals thoroughly. Sometimes, the commissioner may not be able to notice such manipulation and may clear a proposal. We are requesting the BMC chief to delegate some of his discretionary powers to junior officers so that all the files need not to travel right up to his office.”

An engineer from the building proposals department said, “A builder tries to manipulate the rules to include even one square foot of space, as it can translate into crores of rupees in profit.”

BMC Chief Ajoy Mehta said, “We have put all the details online in the public domain, giving reasons as to why these applications have been rejected. We entertain only genuine concession requests.”


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