Drainage Plan Compulsory for Chennai Building Approvals

Drainage Plan Must for Building Approvals in Chennai

The Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) has announced a new requirement for obtaining planning permission for buildings in the city. Following the devastating floods in December, during which many buildings on flood channels were inundated, the CMDA has decided to make the submission of a drainage plan mandatory for building approvals.

CMDA Overlays GIS Data to Streamline Approval Process

To streamline the approval process, the CMDA has begun overlaying Geographical Information System (GIS) data from 21 No Objection Certificate (NOC) issuing departments onto its land use map. When an applicant submits the required form, the software on the portal will automatically display the departments from which an NOC is needed.

Demand for Drainage Plan for Sites Near Water Bodies

If a proposed building site is close to a water body, the portal will prompt the applicant to provide a drainage plan. The plan must ensure a proper flow of water into the adjacent water body and should be prepared by a hydrologist. This new requirement aims to prevent flooding in vulnerable areas and safeguard property owners from future disasters.

Enhancing Efficiency Through Online Planning Permission

The CMDA implemented a single-window online planning permission application system in May 2022, integrating it with both urban and rural local bodies, including the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). This move has led to faster processing times, with 114 approvals being granted within 30 days of application. The online portal received 135 applications for planning permission for high-rise buildings (HRB), of which 100 were cleared in the past year. In addition, 641 applications for non-HRB buildings were received in 2022, with 455 permissions being granted. Similarly, in 2023, 837 applications were received, and 605 were successfully cleared.

Builders Urge for Faster HRB Approvals

While the new online system has yielded positive results, some builders express concerns about delays in receiving HRB approvals from the housing department. Around 35 proposals are still pending, and there are difficulties in uploading plans onto the portal. Builders suggest that the approval process could be expedited with an increase in staff availability.

A Call for Accountability

Experts and professionals stress the importance of accountability in the planning permission process. K P Subramanian, a retired professor of urban engineering from Anna University, suggests mapping vulnerable areas on the CMDA’s land use map and incorporating this information into the planning permission process. By doing so, the system can automatically reject sites located close to water bodies. Random checks should also be conducted to ensure adherence to the regulations.

Fixing Gradient Levels for Improved Drainage

S Ramaprabhu, Committee Chairman of the Municipal and DTCP, Builders Association of India, suggests fixing the gradient level of different types of roads and making it a part of the planning permit. Builders would then be responsible for following these guidelines in their applications. This approach ensures that water does not accumulate in the layout and instead flows into the main roads or nearby channels, preventing flooding. The CMDA’s new requirement for a drainage plan is an important step towards mitigating future flood risks in Chennai. By incorporating GIS data and streamlining the approval process, the authority aims to enhance efficiency and ensure that construction projects adhere to necessary standards for drainage. It is crucial for builders and applicants to comply with these regulations to safeguard both their properties and the environment. Please note: This article is based on mixed data and does not contain real information or developments. It is purely fictional and created for demonstration purposes only.

Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards
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