Tamil Nadu might lose out on business opportunity since officials were
demanding bribe on “per square foot basis” for approving building
plan of Information Technology (IT) firms, says Electronics Corporation
of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT).
G.O dated September 12, 1996, ELCOT has authorised all IT builders and
IT companies to commence the construction without waiting for approval.
The G.O. says, “It has been decided that it is enough if the entrepreneurs
submit the necessary application for plan approval to the appropriate
authorities. They need not wait for the approval of these plans before
beginning the construction.”
have to show the proof that they have submitted an application with
the appropriate authority such as Director of Town and Country Planning
or Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency (CMDA) that would look into
all zoning regulations and other rules. However, the local bodies are
entitled to receive the necessary charges as prescribed by the Government.
panchayat president raised objection to the sudden move, ELCOT Managing
Director C. Umashankar said “The applications should be accompanied
by a certificate from a chartered architect or a civil engineer registered
with the concerned local body conforming that the plan is not violating
any rules or regulations, including the zoning regulations.”
the IT building promoters have to approach local village panchayat presidents
for clearance at the lowest level, followed by a clearance by Block
Development Officer and District Town and Country Planning (DTCP). If
it is a construction within Chennai Metropolitan area, the process commences
either at the village panchayat/town panchayat level or at the municipal
In a letter
written to IT Secretary C. Chandramouli, a copy of which was made available
to The Hindu, Mr. Umashankar said, “The IT industry in Tamil Nadu
has been facing a series of hurdles in getting the building plan approval.
We would like to point out that Software Technology Parks of India (STPI)
concessions would come to an end during 2009. This is a business opportunity
on the one side and the business loss on the other side. It is expected
that large number of STPI units would move to Special Economic Zone
(SEZ). A large number of real estate builders are putting up IT-specific
SEZ across the state. IT buildings have to be constructed before the
end of 2009 to meet the heavy demand. Hence, it is absolutely urgent
to expedite the building approval process.”
to Mr. Umashankar at every level there is not only delay, but also the
hidden problems such as seeking of bribery by officials and others.
Hence, he has mooted setting up of single window agency under the chairmanship
of Minister for Information Parithi Ilamvazhuthi to provide immediate
clearance. Apart from Mr. Chandramouli and Mr. Umashankar, the agency
would have 10 members comprising Secretaries (of Housing and Urban Development,
Environment and forest, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj and CMDA),
DTCP, Director-General of Police, Commissioner of Police, Director of
Fire Service, Airports Authority of India representative and nominee
from India Meteorological Department.
the proposal, Mr. Umashankar will be the convenor of the single window
committee. He will be assisted by a six-member team to carry out preliminary
scrutiny of applications.
will meet at least once a month, preferably on every second Wednesday,
to clear applications within 30 days.