Single-Window Clearance System Will Change Delhi's Real Estate Market
Pending government approvals are one of the oft-cited reasons for project delays. Developers and all other stakeholders expected the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, to meet their long-pending demand of introducing a single-window clearance system. The new law, however, does not speak much on that front.
However, when Minister of Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu recently released the unified building bye-laws for Delhi, 2016, it was a fresh breeze of air for all stakeholders. The most appreciated step in the revised bye-laws, last updated in 1983, was the introduction of a single-window clearance system.
How does the system work?
Applicants will now be able to make an online application to one authority, without having to approach it physically. This will streamline the process by ushering in more accountability, along with reducing human interference. The time, efforts and money thus saved could also translate into a reduction in the cost of housing in the national capital. The approval will be granted within 30 days of applying, say the new bye-laws. For making the payment, too, the applicant won't have to visit agency offices. You can make a consolidated e-payment to the authority concerned.
Government agencies integrated into the system include the Airports Authority of India, the Delhi Fire Services, the National Monuments Authority, the Delhi Metro, the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, the Delhi Jal Board, the power distribution companies, and Central ministries like those of defence, forests and railways. Other central ministries are expected to be come on board soon, making it easier for people by eliminating the need for obtaining clearances/no-objection certificates from each of these agencies.
Environment clearances have been a major hurdle for construction projects. At present, a developer is required to obtain this clearance from the state environment assessment authorities, set up under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change. However, the ministry has given an in-principle approval to integrate the approval process with the new single-window clearance system. The ministry has empowered urban local bodies to accord environmental clearances in cases where the built up area of the project is up to 1,50,000 sq m.
Several government agencies have shown their interest in implementation of this system. In fact, the Delhi Development Authority has already started implementing it. The three municipal corporations functioning in Delhi are also expected to soon notify the changes in the new legislation.
Also, the single-window clearance system will further push the government's objective of “ease of doing business” in the country. This is also likely to lead to introduction of a similar system across the country.