In 2017, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) deployed a new technology, AutoDCR, to automate the process for scrutiny and approval of building plans. AutoDCR is an advanced e-governance solution aimed at revolutionising the way in which municipal corporations, governing bodies and approval authorities review and approve computer aided design (CAD)-based building plans. AutoDCR reduces the approval timelines and paperwork required for building plan scrutiny processes. It provides architects, engineers, urban local bodies, government agencies, citizens and other stakeholders with a unified platform to collaborate, resulting in improved efficiency.
PMC has developed four mobile applications using AutoDCR technology – PMC SWC, PMCBP Officials, PMCBP Architects and Pune Urban. The apps have received a positive response from the citizens. The Pune Urban mobile app has the highest number of downloads at over 1,000. It is followed by PMCBP Architects with more than 500 downloads. The other two have more than 100 downloads each.
Key features of AutoDCR technology
AutoDCR is built with a process workflow system, also known as building plan approval management system (BPAMS), which accelerates the submission, scrutiny and approval of building plans. The system contains modules for every step involved in the approval of building plans or proposals. After the initial examination of the submitted documents, the system sends out notifications to the architects and building inspectors about site visit dates. Further, it allows the involved officers and building inspectors to produce site visit reports and attach photographs during site visits. The system helps users manage documents related to plan approval, and finalise and publish scrutiny reports.
The benefits of AutoDCR are manyfold. It automates the verification of development rules, thus increasing the productivity of approving authorities. The solution is also capable of reading CAD drawings, which helps eliminate the manual and onerous processes involved in verifying compliance with the development control rules. The software assists the approving authorities in the faster issuance of building permits, no-objection certificates (NOCs) and clearances, as scrutiny reports are generated in a matter of minutes. Apart from being an architecture engineering software, AutoDCR is an e-governance solution. It verifies whether the proposals are in harmony with the standard development control rules and regulations. This ensures compliance on the part of engineers and architects as they get a clear understanding of the reasons for approval or rejection.
Mobile applications for automating building plan approval
PMC SWC: This application helps PMC’s internal department view the building plan proposals online on a real-time basis and provides inputs for fast approval of building plan proposals. It also provides PMC officials quick any time and anywhere access. The officers have a role-based application login (register user login) and role-based access. They also have access to a proposal dashboard, which displays the approved, rejected and in-progress proposals on the basis of the assigned jurisdiction. Further, features like proposal details, online document viewing, site visit report form and actual site photo uploading are also available. The officers are also notified about any new proposal on a real-time basis. The application provides a feature to notify the architect about the site visit date and other related details.
PMCBP Officials: It was developed to enable faster and standardised approvals for smart building plans. A proposal dashboard with an approved and rejected proposal list is available on the application. The user can also view key details of the proposal in a spate window. In addition, there is a facility to view the development control rules and circulars.
PMCBP Architects: This application allows PMC officials to view building proposals online and helps architects and applicants to track the proposals. It further assists them in meeting the additional compliance requirements. The application has a login-based authorisation process. Apart from the proposal dashboard, the application provides notifications based on the push- and-pull method, real-time proposal status tracking, an online scrutiny report view, a to-do list for individual proposals, a facility to view development control rules and circulars, notifications of new circulars and amendments for faster processing of proposals. In addition, it provides an online payment facility.
Pune Urban: It is an official mobile application of PMC’s Building Permission Department. It enables citizens, architects, builders and other interested parties to directly connect with the department. The push notification tools allow the department to provide information and connect with the concerned parties. It enables users to view general information on PMC and the Building Permission Department; view and obtain a site/ zone plan certificate and survey numbers for villages and the list of projects and buildings approved by the department; track online project and building status, etc. There is a provision in the application for providing feedback and suggestions.
PMC SWC, PMCBP Officials and PMCBP Architects applications have been developed by Soft Tech Engineers Limited. The Pune Urban application has been developed by Hardcastle GIS Solutions Private Limited. All four applications are compatible with Android as well as iOS. All of them are available for free downloaded on Google Play.
One of the many steps taken by PMC towards smarter civic services is the development of AutoDCR mobile applications. With this initiative, PMC has taken a step forward towards meeting its long-term goal of modernising and digitalising all its civic services. It provides a one-stop solution to citizens for applying and obtaining building permits and NOCs. The app has definitely reduced the amount of paperwork required in the process. PMC has set an example for other municipal corporations to set up similar systems and automate the building plan approval process in their cities.