‘CMC construction permits within two weeks’ | Sunday Observer

‘CMC construction permits within two weeks’

Concerned applicants for construction permits can now breathe a sigh of relief as the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has introduced the ‘online construction permit’ platform, which enables people to submit applications online and receive permits faster with a mere two visits to the CMC.

The new platform will facilitate the issuance of construction permits within two weeks. Before the introduction of the system, applicants had to visit the CMC on several occasions, at times up to 10, to get the permits approved.

“This was an exhausting process in the past. People had to waste time at the CMC merely to get their applications passed. With the new system in place, they will not have to wait for so long,” says CMC Commissioner V. K. S. Anura.

The council receives about 25-30 applications for construction permits daily, and each application has to go through a long processes starting from checking the authenticity of documents handed over by the applicant to getting clearance from separate departments.

The CMC initially launched two projects to make this process faultless. The Single Window Counter in March this year, where street line, non-vesting and ownership certificates is issued within three working days and the second phase of the Single Window Counter, launched in April, that issues the fire clearance, solid waste clearance and drainage clearance certificates in seven working days.

A Help Desk was also opened at the CMC to aid applicants to check the authenticity of their documents and get clarifications of any grey areas.

“Usually, the application process took time because the documents brought in by the applicants had faults, but now at the Help Desk they can easily get these documents checked before making the application,” says Director of City Planning, Ms. K. G. Samarasinghe.

The new system also enables the CMC to inform applicants of the key developments of their application through a text message. These include, an acknowledgement notification via a SMS about the registration of the application, an acceptance notification regarding the processing of the application, and an SMS alert when the permit is ready and needs to be collected.

An SMS will also be sent informing the applicant of the date a CMC officer will visit the construction site for inspection.

Samarasinghe said the process of each application can also be monitored by higher officials making the process more transparent.

“There were allegations against the CMC regarding corruption. With this transparent process, one can see where a certain application is being held up and take immediate action to rectify it,” she said.

CMC Commissioner Anura believes that the Online Construction Permit platform will expedite development work in the city.

“This will also help us accumulate marks for the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators that measures the development of nations. If we perform well we can reach the level of developed nations,” he said.