Automated system to digitize building permits in Kathmandu


A view of Kathmandu valley
A view of Kathmandu valley and its constructions. Photo: Chandra Shekhar Karki

A new automated system supported by UNDP will make obtaining building permits easier in two municipalities in the Kathmandu Valley. The system expected to go live in June this year will integrate safer building codes into existing building permit approval system.

This will be the first of its kind in digital recording system for building permits being brought into use in Nepal.

Highlights

  • CDRMP has supported to introduce the first of its kind in digital recording system for building permits in Nepal.
  • In 2012, partnering with the government, UNDP has trained more than 200 masons, enabling municipalities to require skilled labor in all construction sites and target to train 3000 masons by 2015.

Currently, all building records are stored in paper form. But with the automated system, building maps will be recorded in digital format and stored at Government’s Integrated Data Centre. The system will create digital records of both new and old buildings.

“The digital records will also help to study the trends in building and construction in the valley helping the authorities to strategize disaster mitigation efforts”, says Man B. Thapa, Program Manager of CDRMP.

UNDP’s Comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Program (CDRMP), is supporting the Automation of Building Permits and Monitoring Services (System) to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and Lalitpur Sub-Metropolitan City (LSMC).

Recently both municipalities successfully tested a system to automatize the process of acquiring building permits.  

Under the automation system, KMC and LSMC will use application software to issue building permits and record the blueprints and other related documents in digital form in their web based network. This would include archival of old 15000 permits and it is expected that entire stock inventory of buildings in Kathmandu valley can be conducted through the use of this software.

In the long run, the metropolises hope to make location-wise digital maps of every building, and also make the data accessible online to the general public. The new system will considerably reduce the volume of paper work in issuing and recording building permits.

“The absence of a strong monitoring mechanism has hindered the implementation of the building code”, says Naresh Giri, Programme Officer at CDRMP. “With the automation system, all new buildings can be brought under the frame of the national building code.”

The system will make it easier to tally the constructed buildings with their approved blue-prints, thus enabling stronger monitoring mechanisms.

UNDP CDRMP has provided Rs 50 million to KMC and Rs 35 million to LSMC for the project. It will also provide training and technical support for the successful implementation of the project. The programme is working with municipalities in developing standardized building inspection systems and in increasing community awareness through outreach activities and video toolkits that outline earthquake-safe building practices and retrofitting guidelines.

In 2012, partnering with the government, UNDP has trained more than 200 masons, enabling municipalities to require skilled labor in all construction sites and target to train 3000 masons by 2015.

The automated system also has additional use, including implementation of urban development programmes, and aiding in the collection of house, land and rent taxes.

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A screenshot of the automation system.
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