Gram, taluk panchayats can approve layout plans

The State government has empowered the gram and taluk panchayats to approve layout plans of the properties in village limits.

According to a recent order issued by the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj department (RDPR), the gram and taluk panchayats can approve layouts/residential properties proposed to be formed/constructed in less than one acre of land in village limits.

However, layouts proposed to be formed on more than an acre of land will have to approved by the Directorate of Town Planning (DTP), according to Director, Panchayat Raj, K Yalakki Gowda.

He said that the move was aimed at decentralising and simplifying the process of plan approval.

However, the panchayats will have to obtain technical clearance from DTP for approving a plan. This has been done to ensure to prevent haphazard planning.
Till now, only the DTP had the authority to approve the plans for layouts outside the jurisdiction of local planning authorities (LPAs).

The LPAs such as Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Area (BMRDA) and Bangalore International Airport Area Planning Authority (BIAAPA) continue to be the approving authorities at villages coming under their respective jurisdiction.

Cumbersome process
Though the RDPR introduced e-swatthu scheme (digitisation of property records in rural areas) with an aim to simplifying and streamlining the process of granting approvals in June last year, approval process for properties falling outside LPAs had remained cumbersome; for it involved approval from more than one department of the government. The DTP had almost stopped granting approvals to new properties in the last one year, as it was expecting change in the procedure.

New procedure
As per the new procedure, those forming sites or layouts in village limits (outside LPA jurisdiction) should apply to the gram panchayat seeking approval of the plan.
The application will be forwarded to the taluk panchayat concerned after a preliminary verification. The approval granted by the taluk panchayat will be the final. Gram panchayats will maintain documents pertaining to plan approval and land conversion, officials said.

The RDPR officials said that the department would soon be introduce a computerised system for granting plan approvals at panchayat level.

This, once done, will not only simplify the procedure but also helps the department in streamlining the approval mechanism. As part of the streamlining exercise, the RDPR department recently introduced  form 11b (also called ‘B’ khata) for gramatana sites. Form 9 properties are considered ‘A’ khata gramatana properties.

The government has already made it mandatory for gramatana properties to have form 9 for sale transactions.

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