The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to put up a list of all its approved building permissions on its website. This can prove helpful for thousands of home buyers in Mumbai as this list will give out information about the legal structures in various locations in Mumbai. This move will be however in opposition to the State Information Commission’s order of restricting information about plans.
An important move by BMC
The municipal corporation’s move comes in the wake of increasing right to information (RTI) related applications regarding illegal constructions in the city. Illegal constructions are rampant in Mumbai and its suburbs. Most of these illegal buildings either collapse or are demolished by BMC. Individual flat owners are the ones who usually bear the brunt of these illegal buildings. The recent Campa Cola incident was an apt example.
Most buildings do not have original building plans or the occupation certificate (OC). According to the Bombay High Court, moving into these buildings and flats is termed illegal. However, several ignorant people tend to buy these flats and eventually pay a price. There was an increasing number of RTI applications by individuals, housing societies and activist organizations to know the legality of a particular building. There were also suggestions for the BMC to put up a list of buildings whose building plans were sanctioned, which would help potential buyers to identify legal buildings.
The BMC’s move to put up a list of building permissions has come at the right time. It however said that it will take some time to display all the approved plans on the website as it needs to compile a massive amount of data. The municipal body is also working with RTI activists and technical advisory committee to make its functioning more transparent.
Legality of buildings
Most potential flat buyers are ignorant about the documents required to establish a building’s legality and fall for illegal flats. Obtaining certain critical documents can make life easier for them. These documents include building plans sanctioned by BMC and occupation certificate of a building.
An OC is a document issued by the municipal corporation to a builder once the building is complete. It is issued to certify the building’s compliance with the approved drawings of the plan. It also certifies that the building has followed the building codes and laws. An illegal building does not receive an OC. A potential buyer can confirm the legality by asking the builder for an OC.