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Useful RTI format to get Building Permission details and CTS No. from Building Proposal Dept

Here is a solution to a problem that we face while seeking information on the status of buildings, approved plans and permissions. It is hard
to get these documents from the Building Proposal (or Building
Permissions) department of municipal corporations all over India.

  • Letter of Intent (LOI) or Proposal submitted by the builder or architect.
  • Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) or Intimation of Approval (IOA) issued by the Building Proposal department (also called Building Permission department in some places).
  • Commencement Certificate (CC)
  • Plan Layouts submitted (elevation plans, cross sections, floor plans of each floor, layout of sewage and other infrastructure facilities)
  • Occupation Certificate (OC)
  • Building Completion Certificate (BCC)

More about these documents: 

Explanation of essential building terms like FSI, TDR etc:


To ask for information, we commonly refer to builder’s name, postal address and landmarks. If the builder is hiding something with the connivance of municipal officials, RTI applications get evasive replies such as:
  • “We don’t know which building you are referring. That builder is not named in our records.”
  • “Please specify CT Survey no of the plot of land.”
  • “Give the file number, otherwise we can’t locate the file you are referring to.”
  • “The file is lost / misplaced.”
  • “Come and take inspection.” When the citizen goes for inspection, that particular file is not placed before him, or it is placed with crucial papers missing.


Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) maintains a document called MONTHLY STATEMENT OF IOD-CC-OCCUPATION-BCC for each Municipal ward. See page 5 onwards of this document:

These statements also consolidated into a SUMMARY FOR ALL THE WARDS under that Building Proposal department – See page 1 to 4 of the file.

Municipalities and development authorities maintain records of building permissions in a similar format. We can get this document by clearly naming it in the RTI application. As this is a ready file on their computer, they cannot plead that compiling the data will “disproportionately divert the resources of public authority”.

G R Vora filed an RTI application asking for MCGM’s Building Proposal department’s statement of building permissions given in the municipal wards under Building Proposals (City). The PIO issued a standard letter of denial about “disproportionate diversion of resources for compiling the data”. Last week, at the first appeal hearing at the office of Building Proposal (City), Vora rendered the PIO defenseless by putting on the table a specimen of the Statement and Summary of IOD/CC/OC/BCC earlier procured by Rajesh Paliwal from Building Proposal (Eastern Suburbs). Then the PIO called the concerned officer, who took printouts of all the documents and handed them over to Vora within 15 minutes. This confirmed that all Building Proposal departments in the city are maintaining such a document on their computer. So, it’s proven: in reply to your RTI application, all they have to do is take a printout! 


If you first ask for specific files relating to your building, the PIO may evade and stonewall you. To avoid this, first make your RTI application for getting Statement of IOD-CC etc. for several months, where your under-construction building is also mentioned. Use this RTI Application format to get essential data like CTS no. and file number or your building: 

To make it difficult to deny YOUR request for documents, attach specimens of statements and summaries from Building Proposals Department (Eastern Suburbs):

And also from Building Proposal (City):
This is the LIST OF PIOs OF MUMBAI’S BUILDING PROPOSAL departments to send your RTI applications:

IN SOME PLACES, INCOMPLETE INFORMATION IS GIVEN IN THE STATEMENT OF IOD-CC-OC-BCC e.g. the CTS number and name of architect is given without proper postal address. If so, take the CTS number and refer to STAMP DUTY READY RECKONER, which has maps of each area showing where each CTS no. is located. This book, costing Rs 300, is published by The Architects Publishing Corporation of India, and is available from 51 Sujata, Ground Floor, Rani Sati Marg, Near Railway Bridge, Malad East. Ph: 28835510 and 28834442,,  . Ready Reckoner is available for Mumbai, Thane and Panvel, and may be available for other cities also.


The Statements make it difficult for them to avoid giving information about ongoing building projects.  File number given in the second column of the statement can be used for asking for copy of entire files pertaining to the building that you are investigating. Points to note:

AFTER GETTING THESE DETAILS, YOU CAN FRAME RTI QUERIES VERY PRECISELY. For example: “Please furnish me copy of file no. CE/4365/BPES/AL, relating to CTS no. 998. Furnish me copy from cover-to-cover i.e. from the top cover page till bottom cover page, including file notings. Please do not exclude anything.” 

This file contains all the approvals and No-Objection Certificates given to that particular project, the plans submitted for approval, also file notings, and documents concerning discretionary concessions, waivers, penalties etc. 

Approvals given in that particular month will indicate what stage of completion the project has reached. E.g. IOD is the first stage, CC is the second stage, typically reached a few months after the IOD stage. OC and BCC are the final stages of the project.

It is legally permissible to start work only after getting the CC, and all the conditions of the IOD must be fulfilled during construction. The builder is routinely allowed to build upto plinth level (i.e. do the foundation work) without submitting his detailed plans, or pending the approval of his plans.  Also, he is allowed to amend his plans. 

POSSIBLE WRONGDOINGS REVEALED BY IOD, CC, ETC. Influential developers often build without  approvals. i.e. (i) commence construction work without getting the CC (ii) continue building above plinth levels without getting approvals for plans (iii) amend plans midway and get municipal approval for such structural amendments, without informing the flat-buyers who booked flats as per original plans, and who will be naturally affected by substantive amendments (iv) build floors in excess of approved plans, or create structures in violation of approved plans (v) seek regularization for unauthorized construction at the time of seeking OC (Occupation Certificate) and BCC (Building Completion Certificate). 

ARCHITECT’S NAME given in the right-hand column indicates who is held responsible by the municipal corporation. Besides complaining against the builder, COMPLAIN AGAINST THIS ARCHITECT, who is the professional empanelled by the Municipal Corporation, and is supposed to know every detail of the building. Your complaint should pinpoint violations such as failure to meet conditions laid down in IOD, violation of Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, Development Control Regulations etc etc. Architect Jagdeep Desai recommends that you should also COMPLAIN TO THE COUNCIL OF ARCHITECTURE FOR PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT OF ARCHITECTS. Read these links: 

Getting the Monthly Statement of IOD-CC-OC-BCC will make it hard for the municipal corporation to stonewall your RTI application. Procuring the entire file of the building project will enable you to lodge more effective complaints with the Municipal Corporation, and also approach consumer court, and/or seek criminal proceedings for negligence, dereliction of duty, breach of various sections of Indian Penal Code for endangering the public, fraud etc.

Warm Regards,
98215 88114

Posted in Activism, Governance & Administration, Right to Information, RTI Act 2005.

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