Hyderabad: While the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority have simplified grant of building permission by switching over online applications to cut short the waiting time for applicants, the neighbouring Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) still continues with the old manual submission format. Moreover, each building sanction application has to be approved by a meeting of the Cantonment Board, a time-consuming process.
With online application, the waiting time for GHMC and HMDA permissions is down to 15 days to one month if all documents are submitted in the prescribed format. The Secunderabad Cantonment Board has no fixed time frame for the building plan to get final approval and applicants just have to keep their fingers crossed. It could take to two to three mon-ths or even up to six months.
Former vice-president of the SCB, J. Pratap, pointed out that the practice has been in place since 1924 and its time to change it to improve efficiency. “While in other municipalities, it is the officials who clear the applications after scrutiny, in the SCB first officials verify it, then board members examine it and raise questions, and only if the meeting approves the applicant will be given the approval. This whole process is cumbersome. Board meetings are not being held regularly so the applicants' wait gets longer,” he said.
A senior BJP leader from the Cantonment says the existing process has led to corruption. "After the initial scrutiny the application is put up in the board meeting and if any member raises doubts, the approval will be kept pending. The applicant has to submit additional documents and then wait for the next board meeting to deliberate on it,” he lamented. Former SCB CEO Sujatha Gupta had taken up the issue of this time consuming process with the higher authorities in the Southern Command in Pune, but nothing has changed.
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