“The Online Building Plan Approval System (OBPS) is successfully running in the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) of Punjab. Nearly 4000 building plans have been sanctioned on e-naksha portal till date and more than 8800 files have been entered successfully in the system as on date.”Disclosing this here today, the Local Government Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu said that about 1600 architects and engineers have registered on the portal and are actively participating in the process. Though OBPS is facing some teething problems but professionals, applicants and even the ULBs staff is happy with the system as it has many advantages over manual system. Income of many ULBs has increased after the launch of OBPS due to the good response shown by the public. Time and energy of applicant as well as architects is saved due to the ease of doing business on this portal. Hundreds of satisfied users have availed services on their doorstep sitting in the comfort of their homes and offices as the total process takes place online starting from submission of file up to sanction.Divulging more on the finer points of the system, Mr. Sidhu said that as per the default design of the system, it takes maximum 2 days by the scrutiny engine to scan the drawings and generate report. If the report is all clear, the file moves to the sanctioning authority through various levels and e-naksha gets cleared. The minister further detailed that on an average, 60 files are being daily passed by the online system. It takes hardly 2-3 weeks time to get majority of the cases cleared due to strict timelines given to the staff for clearing the cases. At present only 3 percent files are there in the system which are pending for more than one month, 3 percent are pending for less than 15 days and more than 7 days old are 7 percent.
Emphasizing upon the characteristics of the system further, the minister said that the system has brought in transparency and has considerably reduced corruption in the system. Once all the functionalities of the OBPS are made live, the applicant will be able to see the status of his file on his mobile phone dynamically through sms facility. He also elaborated that the system has gained more efficiency in the recent past as many steps have been taken after learning from the experiences e.g. Help Desk has been strengthened, Nodal Officers have been appointed in all the 6 regions to help and guide the stakeholders, Architects are being trained and motivated to encourage client to prefer legal constructions. Associations of Architects, Engineers and Town Planners have been requested to become partners in this transparent system and help the society in creating a better built environment through encouraging legal constructions.Mr. Sidhu also added that the staff of Town Planning wing of the ULBs is also heaving a sigh of relief as they have very little left in their hands to give undue leverage to anyone in case of ‘Sifarrish’ from any quarters. Furthermore, the system is being constantly refined day by day. Self Certification process by the architect is also facilitated on this portal which is being modified to provide instant approvals at the level of the architect. Under Self Certification, e-naksha will be passed in 2 days time if it is as per the Acts/Rules and Punjab Municipal Byelaws supported by all the necessary documents. This facility will be available to the low risk category of buildings of residential and commercial nature having plot area upto 500 sq. yards.The minister also informed that seeing the success of this system, It is being adopted by other departments also in the state under the Ease of Doing Business.
OBPS at a glance:-
1. Contract was signed with ABM on 6th June, 2018 and SRS was approved in January, 2019.
2. OBPS/e-naksha system has been operational since 15th August, 2018. Three Modules: Residential, Commercial & Industrial were made go-live.
3. On 15th January, 2019, the offline mode was discontinued.
4. As on 28th May, 2019, nearly 4000 files have been sanctioned and total 8823 files have been entered successfully in the system. On 3rd April, 2019, 600 cases were cleared.
5. Status of OBPS was reviewed by the Local Government Minister on 3rd April, 2019 and had asked to implement timelines. The same have been implemented. Status of OBPS is being reviewed regularly and holistically. Various meetings were held on 26th February, 2019, 3rd March, 2019, 3rd April, 24th April and 28th May at the level of PSLG and DLG.
6. Aging analysis was done and the officials responsible for delay were identified and called by the DLG for explaining the reasons and to clear the pendency. DDRs were asked to issue SCN to the erring officials. Accordingly, show cause notices have been issued by DDRs.
7. Daily meetings are being held region wise with EOs and ULB staff whose performance is not up-to the mark.
8. Camps were organized for ULBs regularly at HQ Chandigarh for training, clarifications and clearing of pendency.
9. Calls are made by DLG staff to ULBs whose performance is poor.
10. WhatsApp group was created for query resolution.
11. Vendor was asked to depute a dedicated resource for calling CMCs to resolve the issues. Accordingly, Vendor has been calling Commissioners on daily basis.
12. Depending upon hierarchy of ULBs, applications are being cleared by ULBs in around 2-3 weeks time.
13. Daily approximately 60 number of files are being sanctioned on e-naksha portal.
14. The total files pending for more than 30 days are only 3 percent, Pending for more than 15 days are only 3 percent and more than 7 days are 7 percent.
Owing to the above efforts, the OBPS system is running properly.