New J&K UT Building By-Laws, Building Code-2020 coming into force shortly

Govt goes tough against constructions along rivers, water bodies

Jammu: The Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has come up with the new Building By-laws which shall apply to the building activity in the entire UT for all Urban Local Bodies and Urban Development authorities including Jammu and Srinagar Municipal Corporations.

These new building By-laws shall be applicable to all building activities undertaken by the private or Government agencies and shall be read in conjunction with Master Plan / Zonal Development Plan or any other statutory plan in force and notification, with regard to the same and amended from time to time. These Building By-laws shall remain in force for the next five years. Till, such time, the reviewed building By-laws are notified, these building bye-laws will continue to be in force.

While elaborating on the new ‘Draft J&K Model Building By-Laws and Building Code-2020’, the official sources told the Excelsior that these By-laws shall apply to all development, re-development, erection/ re-erection of a building whether temporary or permanent as well as to the design, construction, or reconstruction and additions and alterations to a building.

“Where the whole or the part of or a building is demolished or altered or reconstructed, except where otherwise specifically stipulated, these Building By-laws shall apply to the whole building whether existing or new, except that the rules shall apply only to part, if that part is completely self-contained with respect to facilities and safety measures,” sources said.

As per new building bye-laws, where use of a building is changed, except where otherwise specifically stipulated , these building By-laws shall apply to parts of the building affected by the change. And moreover, the reconstruction in whole or part of building which has ceased to operate due to fire, natural collapse or demolition having been declared unsafe, or which is likely to be demolished by or under an order of the Authority, for which the necessary certificate has been given by the Authority.

For existing approved buildings, nothing in these By-laws shall require the approval, alteration or abandonment, nor prevent continuance of the lawfully established use or occupancy of an existing approved building unless, in the opinion of the authority such a building is unsafe or constitutes a hazard to the safety of adjacent property or the occupants of the building itself.

“No person shall undertake any building operation/ construction without obtaining a valid building permit prior to commencement of such activity. Issuance of a building permit by the competent authority means an acceptance by the authority that the design and specifications of the proposed building. For which the permit has been issued , conforms to these By-laws / building regulations. Every persons who intends to erect or re-erect or makes material alteration in any place in the building or part there of, within the local area shall apply in writing or on line to the competent authority on prescribed format,” the official sources added.

As per new building By-laws it is amply clear that no Government/ Semi-Government organisations either Central or UT shall be exempted from complying with the provisions of the building By-laws / regulations, unless Government grants such an exemption. For the multi-storeyed buildings having height of more than 15 mtrs, special provisions are needed including all safety measures and NOCs from various departments.

For all high rise buildings which are 15 mt or more in height and for special buildings like educational, assembly, institutional, business, mercantile, industrial, storage, hazardous and mixed-occupancies, having more than 500 sq mt covered area, the permission shall be granted under two stages covering fire and lift safety norms under National Building Code-2016 regulations.

While referring to the unauthorised development/ construction, sources said the Authority shall take suitable action, which may include demolition of unauthorised works, sealing or premises, prosecution and criminal proceedings against the defender. Again, the competent authority may declare the use of any building to be an unauthorised, if it is convinced that the building is unsafe for habitation or its use poses a danger to public health of safety.

Regarding duration of sanction, the document itself says, “ Once a building permit is sanctioned, it shall remain valid for three (3) years, from the date of sanction for residential, industrial and commercial buildings ( 4 storeyed) and for a period of four (4) years from the date of sanction for high-rise and tall buildings. However, the validity period of sanction in case of additions/ alterations in both the cases, shall be two years from the date of sanction.”

It is to be noted here that the building permit shall be got revalidated in the prescribed form before the expiry of this period on year-to-year basis. And revalidation shall be subject to the Master Plan/ Zonal Plan regulation and Building By-laws as in force in the area.

The Competent Authority may revoke a building permit and initiate Penal action against the defaulting professionals like- Architects/ Engineers/ Groups/ Supervisors or black list registered technical persons, if it determines that the false statements were made or material facts were mis-represented for obtaining building permit. As per new By-laws the time line has been fixed from 7 to maximum 30 days from various departments/ agencies for obtaining NOCs.

According to new By-laws 7-member Building Permission Authority has been established headed by chairman ( Local Area Municipal Corporation/ Council/ Committee) of the BPA. There may be members including Senior Town Planner/ Jt Commissioner, AC Revenue, XEns PDD/Jal Shakti/ UEED and Fire Officer concerned.

As per new Building Laws proper zoning and land use with prescribed Codes Like R-1, R-2, R-3 etc ( for residential zones) has been proposed as per Master Plan/ Zonal Development Plans. Similarly, for Commercial the zoning is like C-1, C-2, C-3 etc. The Government has also come up with new regulations for new Housing Colonies ( Plotted) below and above 4 hectares. It has also proposed by-laws for petrol/ filling stations, burial/ cremation grounds, buffer zones, poultry farms and construction activity in mining area.

The By-laws clearly indicate that construction of any type of Govt of private building near Defence land/ premises shall be governed by as per guidelines of Govt of India , Ministry of Defence. The construction of any type of Govt or private buildings near Railway land shall be governed as per the guidelines of Ministry of Railways.

“No construction activity shall be allowed in the areas vulnerable to flood/ flash floods, water courses. No development, whether any filling or otherwise shall be carried out from the 50 mts of the edge of the bank of any river, stream or major water course like Chenab, Jhelum. Tawi, Ravi, Ujh or any other river/ Khud. The recommended safer distance for water bodies like Mansar, Surinsar, Wullar, Nageen, Manasbal and other lakes shall be 30 mtrs and for Canals like Ranbir Canal, Sindh Canal, Partap, Kashmir Canals etc 20 mts,” draft said.

For the electric vehicle charging infrastructure new guidelines have been issued with respect to parking and proposed premises provisions. It has been indicated that Central Electricity authority shall create and maintain a national online data base of all the public charging stations through DISCOMs. Every State and UT shall nominate an agency for the purpose. For erections of Mobile Towers also strict new guidelines have been issued restricting installations in the populated areas with specific heights so that its impact of the public is minimised.

Rainwater harvesting is the new component which has been introduced with maximum buildings being covered under it. All the buildings having a plot size of 100 sq mts or more while submitting the building plans for sanction shall mandatorily shall include the complete proposal of rainwater harvesting with components like – roof catchment, gutters, down pipes, rainwater/ storm water drains, filter chamber, storage tank/ pits/ sumps and ground water recharge structure like pit, trench or tube well, the document revealed. (Daily Excelsior)

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