Design and Implementation of Automated Building Plan Approval System – AutoDCR

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    Registration Name: eMaharashtra 2012
    Project Category: eGov :: Best Urban ICT Initiative of the year
    Project Name: Design and Implementation of Automated Building Plan Approval System – AutoDCR

    Details of Applicant :

    Name: Vijay Gupta
    Address: The Pentagon, 5A, Shahu College Road, Pune, Maharashtra
    City: Pune
    State: Maharashtra
    Country: India
    Zip Code: 411009

    Details of Project/Implementing Agency:

    Name of Organisation: SoftTech Engineers Pvt. Ltd.
    Address: The Pentagon, 5A, Shahu College Road, Pune, Maharashtra
    City: Pune
    State: Maharashtra
    Country: India
    Zip Code: 411009
    Name of the Head of Organisation: Vijay Gupta

    Brief description of the programme/project/initiative :

    AutoDCRis an innovative software application for automatic scrutiny of building plans. It helps urban local bodies like municipal corporations and municipalities to automate the process of scrutinizing building plans, mapping them to the development control rules and regulations and finally approving them. AutoDCR reads the building entities from drawings which are submitted by Architects in soft copies, geometrically maps each and every entity with complex and interlinked rules. It produces relevant scrutiny reports embedded in drawings as well as in text format. It brings in objectivity through uniform interpretation of rules and standardization in the building drawing plan approval process. It is a complete web based application with search capabilities and flexible enough to be customized according to the existing processes and rules of any body of local governance.

    Why was the project started?

    Our expertise in CAD based system was already proven through our Structural Engineering Product STRUDS with a base of over 4000 users in India. We identified a lot of pain in the Building Plan approval process followed by ULBs. The manual reading of drawings and mapping to development control rules to check for compliances is a major time consuming and error prone process. We thought of a innovative system which could eliminate human intervention and bring in compliance along with objectivity. An automated system based on identification of drawing objects and its subsequent compliance to development control rules seemed to be the way forward which led to the creation of “AutoDCR”.

    Objective: The objective of the project is to enable a completely transparent and objective process for approval of building development proposals benefiting multiple stakeholders like Authorities, Architects and Citizens.

    Target Group: Municipal Corporations and other Urban Local Bodies, State Level Authorities, Town & Country Planning Directorates, Special Permission Authorities

    Geographical reach: India and overseas

    Date from which the project became operational : 07/01/2005

    Is the Project still operational : Yes

    10 points that make the programme/project innovative:

    “1.The first of its kind and only software product to enable CAD based building plan scrutiny.

    2.Completely web based automation of the entire “Application to Approval” Process of Building Plans

    3.Availability of scrutiny report of the drawing submitted within 24 hours to the Architect

    4.Configurable roles based work flows with time based auto escalation

    5.SMS / Email / Dashboard based notification on events and alerts on delay

    6.Integration with digital signature for electronic approval

    7.Integration with Payment Gateways

    8.Citizens Search facility for checking approval status of building they wish to know before any purchase decision

    9.Integration with GIS for better city planning

    10.Robust Reporting and Content Management capabilities for improved governance and secure document handling respectively”

    List 5 achievements of the programme/project:

    “1. Over 35 Municipal Corporations & Urban Local Bodies have implemented AutoDCR as the solution of choice for building plan approval. More than 10 Municipal corporations in Maharashtra including Pune, PCMC, Mumbai , Thane, Nagpur , Kolhapur, Nanded, Amravati, Solapur, Meera Bhayander, Aurangabad have already adopted AutoDCR. AutoDCR is most successful e-Governance solution for Urban local bodies in Maharashtra

    2.Pune Municipal Corporation bagged the World Leadership Award for Automatic Scrutiny of the Building Proposals at World forum Awards 2007 at London along with nomination in the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration. Also Hubli Dharwad Municipal Corporation Received “Best Practices Symposium and Citation Ceremony 2010 Award” for AutoDCR in the month of Feb.2011

    3.Manthan Award is given for excellence in innovative digital technology across 15 different categories. AutoDCR™ won this prestigious in the e-governance category in the year 2010

    4.“Building Plan Scrutiny (AutoDCR) received prestigious Good Governance Award in National Technology Leadership Category, 2010

    5.Recommended as Best Practices in e-Governance by Ministry of Urban Development”

    List 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative and how they were overcome?

    “1.Lack of IT Literacy and awareness regarding benefits of e-governance: There is general lack of awareness regarding benefits of e-governance as well as the process involved in implementing successful G2C, G2G and G2B projects. The administrative structure is not geared for maintaining, storing and retrieving the governance information electronically. The general tendency is to obtain the data from the files (print) as and when required rather than using document management and workflow technologies and other process automation solutions

    2.Underutilization of existing ICT infrastructure: To a large extent, computers in the department are used for the purpose of word processing only, resulting in the underutilization of the computers in terms of their use in process automation and supporting management decisions.

    3.Working of Government Departments: The psychology of government employees is quite different from that of private sectors. Traditionally the government employees have derived their sustenance from the fact that they are custodians of important information. Thus any effort to implement technologies that liberates information or brings about process change is met with resistance.

    4.Resistance to re-engineering of departmental processes: Successful implementation of e-governance projects require lots of restructuring in administrative processes, redefining of administrative procedures and formats which finds the resistance in almost all the departments at all the levels. In such a scenario, it’s difficult for any e-governance solution to achieve its intended results.

    5.Lack of Infrastructure for sustaining e-governance projects on national level: Infrastructure to support e-governance initiatives does not exist within government departments. Government departments are not equipped to be in a position to project the clear requirements nor are there proper guidelines for involving private sector. Whatever efforts have been made by various government organizations may be defined as islands of computerization. The infrastructure creation is not guided by a uniform national policy, but is dependent on the needs of individual officers championing a few projects. Therefore, the required networking and communication equipment is either non existent in govt. departments, or if it exists at all, it does not serve any tangible purpose. The use of connectivity options provided by govt. agencies like NICNET etc. are used in a very limited manner for data transmission purpose between various locations viz. District, State, Center etc. and is mainly utilized for e-mail and Internet purpose only.”

    List 5 points on how the programme can serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?

    “1. AutoDCR has already been identified as a best practice for Building Plan approval by JNNURM (Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India) and is successfully working in over 35 corporations. This already provides a base for its replicability in other cities

    2. Being completely web based the application lends itself to easy configuration and deployment

    3. The rule engine of the application can be customized to include development control rules of any city and it becomes ready to use by the city authorities

    4. The workflows, roles and hierarchy within any authority can be easily configured

    5. The software can be implemented across State Level offices, Town & Country Planning Directorates, Municipal Corporations and Councils bringing all entities onto a common platform”

    List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative

    “1.AUTODCR scalability is two dimensional, it works perfect in increased load without impact on the performance of the system, and it has the ability to be readily enlarged. The product was designed considering scaling vertically (scale up), and scaling horizontally (scale out). To scale vertically in any production environment more resources can be added such as CPU, memory, and disk to the production server. To scale horizontally, we add more machines to the server farm that runs the application and shares the load. 1. Considering the large scale enterprise implementation where AUTODCR need to handle increasing load, we have designed layers and tiers for scalability. Each layer was tested for scalability through the factors that affects the capability to scale up or scale out the application in production and the database when required. For an instance, we kept all logical layers on the same physical tier to reduce the number of servers required while maximizing load sharing and failover capabilities. In some of the implementation we partitioned data across two or more database server to maximize scale-up and allowed flexible location of data subsets. In design we have avoided state-full components and subsystems where possible to reduce server affinity.

    2.In our product design we implemented store-and-forward/ cached message-based communication that allows requests to be stored when the target system is unavailable, and replayed when it is online.

    3.The AUTODCR design models ensure communications between services are established using message-based techniques to provide high levels of robustness and scalability.

    4.The user management component that provides the ability to system users and administrator to register and create user accounts in the system that can go to any number. Depending on the configuration of users’ access rights the system grant access to a set of modules, processes, user interfaces and controls. AUTODCR user management is a powerful component; it controls many other components such as Login, Entitlement/ Privilege, System Audit, etc. The user management in AUTODCR is a key feature considering system’s horizontal and vertical scalability.

    5.In high availability and Scalability of data critical deployment, we use clustered or mirrored database servers so that the deployed system is safe from data loss.”

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