Construction of buildings is capital intensive and cumbersome due to its very nature of being technically complex, operationally comprehensive as well as due to inclusion of various coherent processes. One such imperative and yet tedious process is getting approvals from the government at various stages of construction. The government needs to ensure that the building is safe and is being built in congruence with the city’s holistic urban plan. However, due to the complexity and ample scrutiny involved during the approval process, the time required to receive the approvals get extended, sometimes exorbitantly. The extended time results in additional cost of financing, operational expenses, etc. which ultimately gets transformed into increased price and consumer dissatisfaction.
The Haryana government has found a way to expedite and simplify the process of getting approvals. Now, developers can self-certify themselves by submitting a certificate which declares that the construction of the building is as per the pre-defined building rules, architectural control and zoning of the region. For this, an empanelled architect will present the building plan to the authority and if the government authorities have not raised any objections within 15 days, the construction of the building can be commenced.
This process will still hold the owner and/or architect accountable for any violations even after no objection is raised by the competent authority, hence maintaining the credibility quotient of the approvals. Similarly, occupational certificate can be obtained in Haryana within the period of eight days by submission of various documents such as completion drawings, actual photographs of the building, completion certificate, etc. which is duly certified by an architect and structural engineer.
Self-certification of approvals has multi-fold advantages, saving time of construction being the most obvious one! Other advantages include ease of doing business, ending of red-tapism and cost-saving in terms of lobbying and interest cost. Some of the indirect benefits are creation of level playing field as no preferential treatment would be given to bigger sharks and enhanced attraction of the real estate sector especially by the foreign players. For home buyers, these benefits have the potential to reduce the real estate prices as well.
However, there are some things that need to be kept in mind for making self certificates optimal. The period of raising an objection for approving a project is less. Hence, the government should develop enough infrastructure and human resources to ensure that the interest of stakeholders, typically developers and home buyers are intact. Also, the proper functioning of empanelled architects and integrity of developers is must to make self-certification a success!
This initiative by the Haryana government is commendable and should be scaled to other states of India. Multiple state governments should follow this suit and incorporate the self certification process in their approval system to redeem the aforesaid benefits. This initiative has the potential to go a long way in optimizing the process of government approvals and also positively impacting the real estate sector.