BHUBANESWAR: A 33-year-old order, which requires Government agencies to seek approval of State’s Chief Architect for all their building projects, has been invoked by the Odisha Government. For, administrative departments, Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and other autonomous institutions seem to have conveniently glossed it over.
With the AG Audit pointing out the blunder, the General Administration (GA) Department has asked the office of the Chief Architect to instruct all the agencies to fall in line.
All the Government bodies have been asked to consult the Chief Architect before taking up construction projects and obtain architectural designs of such buildings ratified. “They should also ensure that construction of buildings taken up by them are periodically inspected by either the Chief Architect or his staff,” the GA Department order said.
It was in 1981 that the GA Department issued the order but some of the departments, corporations and local bodies did not adhere to it and went on to construct buildings on their own without seeking the approval of the head architect. In fact, the Government believes that most Government agencies may not even be aware of the order since it was issued more than three decades ago.
Since the AG pointed out that non-adherence to the order has led to improper utilisation of the public funds and asked for a list of building projects which were carried out without approval of the Chief Architect, the GA Department has woken up to the subject.
The original order, issued by the then Chief Secretary who heads the GA Department, aimed at bringing about architectural discipline in the Government buildings of the State.
Since urbanisation was still low in 1981, the Government wanted to encourage systematic growth, not haphazardly constructed buildings, in urban Odisha for better aesthetics.