ISLAMABAD - Lahore Development Authority and Capital Development Authority are in talks to replicate e-permit system to enable the residents of Islamabad to get online approval of their building plans.

The system was developed by Punjab Information Technology Board with funding of Asian Development Bank and it is in place at the LDA for certain residential and commercial areas of Lahore.

Through this system, the citizens are at liberty to submit scanned copies of their building plans and get online approval after their due scrutiny. The system is cost and time effective while reduces the chances of corruption and unnecessary procedural delays. In a conventional way, the owners of properties contact the development authorities across the country for prior approval of their proposed maps and submit drawings and other required documents in person. A meeting in this regard was held in CDA headquarters, in which a presentation on the system was made by senior officers of LDA, who encouraged the city managers to replicate the same system in Islamabad.

They were informed by the LDA team that previously the layout and maps were manually approved which caused issues for the public, including loss of documents or mixing up of files. Under the e-permit system, only genuine files and layout plans are scan-able, computerized plans are being approved over email. The relevant Assistant Director Town Planning is responsible for the files and e-permits.

After filling the application through this system, applicant receives updates through mobile messages and the approvals are being granted within 6 to 8 days. The rapid processing of the application and their timely disposal has enhanced the credibility of the authority.

The LDA team informed that after transformation from conventional files bases system to online building permit system, the number of applications received has been increased in addition to the maintenance of their proper record.

The said meeting was attended by the member planning panning CDA, Member Estate CDA and officers from building control and information technology directorates of the civic body. According to sources, the top management of the CDA present in the meeting has appreciated the system and showed their keen interest to launch it in Islamabad as well however they highlight some compatibility issues.

“The CDA’s property record is not computerised and without a computerised record the system can not be replaced immediately however we can implement the system by customising the same”, a participant informed.

According to sources, the Director General LDA will visit CDA headquarters on Thursday (Today) where she will meet with the high ups of CDA to further deliberate on the subject.

Another officer on the condition of anonymity has explained that if the management would decide to launch the system then it will have to take several decisions regarding preparation of the system, its cost and other related issues.

When contacted, the Director Public Relations Syed Safdar Shah has confirmed that the proposal is under consideration and a presentation has been shared by the LDA officials.

He said further that though a final decision in this regard has yet to be made but creating ease for citizen is the firm belief of the incumbent management and all out efforts are being made to introduce smart systems in CDA.