MEERUT: For any building to come up in Uttar Pradesh, a map — like a blueprint or a house plan — has to be approved by an architect. This is done online. But earlier this month, an architects’ body in Meerut found an anomaly — they had approved 20 maps between April and July 2 this year but the platform showed 56 had been ratified. The trail led to what appears to be a map scam — thousands of illegitimate approvals were given out allegedly by development authority workers posing as architects for anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 2 lakh each. And the network, architects said, is spread across the state.
In March last year, the state government revamped the Uttar Pradesh Online Building Plan Approval System Portal to take the process online and minimise human intervention — building maps could be created, checked and uploaded on the platform. But there were two loopholes. To use the platform, all one needed was an…

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