Punjab minister delegates powers for granting CLU

Punjab minister delegates powers for granting CLU

Rajmeet Singh

Chandigarh, August 1

In an apparent course correction, Local Government Minister Dr Inderbir Singh Nijjar has relinquished his powers for the grant of change of land use (CLU), completion certificates and building plans under the municipal laws.

For the past over 20 years, Nijjar’s predecessors had been exercising the powers, allegedly in contravention of the municipal laws that clearly state that the competent authority was commissioners in case of municipal corporation and EO in case of municipal council and nagar panchayats under the Punjab Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, and Punjab Municipal Act 1911.

The powers allowed the files to be sent up to the minister and administrative secretary of the department for technical and administrative approvals. Going against the decentralisation of powers as per recommendations of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment, successive governments over the past two decades issued “questionable” directions in 1995 and 2002 through which the ULBs were asked to seek “technical advice” from the chief town planner (CTP) at the headquarters of the local government here.

The technical advice was given by the CTP’s office and administrative approval was given by the secretary and Local Government Minister.

To justify the process, the previous governments stated that directions were issued for technical advice and administrative approval at the government level as in many cases of approval of building plans, violations of commercial buildings, provision of building bylaws were overlooked or misinterpreted by the technical staff at the urban local bodies (ULBs). Nijjar said he had ordered decentralisation and simplification of procedures for the grant of CLU and approval of layout and building plans. Now, the files for CLU or sanctioning building plans would not come to the office of the minister or the headquarters, except in certain cases.

Who’s authority now

MC commissioners and ADCs in other urban bodies are now competent authority for granting CLU and licence to develop colony

Town planners to give advice

For layout plans of commercial projects above 2 acres, Chief Town Planner will give technical advice and for other projects, senior town planner will do the job

Simplifying process

I have tried to decentralise and simplify procedure for grant of CLU and approval of layout and building plans. — Inderbir Singh Nijjar, Local Govt Minister

Punjab minister delegates powers for granting CLU