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The need for better laws to speed up development

Postby Hayes41 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:23 am

It is argued by the housing development experts that about 50 percent of the houses and shelters built by the people themselves in all cities and towns of Kerala are unauthorized; the primary reason being that the Development Control Rules, the building bye-laws, the building design standards and specifications specified by the local authorities are of such a high standard that these cannot be met in full by the common man and consequently whatever they build are considered to be unauthorized.

Even the Task Force has noted in its report that the legal impediments which inhibit the poor from improving their housing units include ‘zoning regulations, certain service standards, minimum plot size, maximum density of people in a particular area, building bye-laws and construction standards. Thus in a majority of cases, the developments in Real Estate in Kerala is not up to the standards set by those housing development experts.

It has been observed by the practicing architects and professionals that the local municipalities and city corporations in cities unnecessarily delay the approval of building plans which consequently delay the entire process of building construction. In Trivandrum and Cochin, till recently, it took two to four years to approve a building plan even when substantial sums as ‘speed money’ has been spent for moving the files.

How can the private sector rapidly construct a house if there is such a delay in building construction? It is imperative that the state government must take immediate steps to approve building plans within the shortest period, say, one month of its commission. Necessary amendments must be made to the necessary rules and regulations. If the country is to wipe out its deficit of 40 million houses in the next 10 years, on an average, four million houses need to be built; at present less than 50 percent of that is being built in the country. Consequently, there should be greater emphasis on ‘freedom to build’ with minimum restriction.
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