BENGALURU: The long-delayed Akrama Sakrama scheme which recently got the Karnataka high court’s nod may turn out to be a dampener, as only 10% of the 11 lakh property owners are likely to benefit under the ambitious scheme.
A random survey undertaken by the BBMP town planning department and later submitted to the state government, a copy of which was accessed by TOI, found that violations in a majority of the buildings are far greater than the norms set down by the planning authorities for regularization. Under the scheme, the government intends to regularize only deviations of up to 50% in residential buildings and up to 25% in commercial structures.
“About 90% of residential buildings and 95% of commercial structures have deviations more than 50% pertaining to setback area, making it the most common violation,’’ said a senior urban development department official, quoting the 2014 survey done some time after the scheme was mooted.
Though the government later made efforts not to set any fixed norms for violations, the intervention of the Karnataka high court dashed all their plans. Under the scheme, the BBMP is required to demolish all buildings which have violations above the fixed norms.
Another reason why the scheme may not take off as expected is the subdued response it received from people. The state government first introduced Akrama Sakrama on March 23 last year, and gave time till to March 22, 2016, for people to apply, seeking regularization of unauthorized buildings. “Only 41 people applied during the period, before some citizen groups filed a PIL questioning the objectives of the scheme,” officials said.
BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, however, sounded optimistic. He said they expect a good response once they invite fresh applications, now that the scheme has been cleared by the Karnataka high court. “We are hoping to regularize about 3 lakh properties in Bengaluru in the first phase. Simultaneously, we will undertake a survey of all 19 lakh buildings in Bengaluru to check the deviations, if any, and serve notice to those who have not fallen in lines,’’ he added.
What the survey suggested?
The 2014 random survey was conducted by the BBMP town planning department in Vidyaranyapura, A Narayanapura, Chickpet and Herohalli — pockets across the city. Of the 400 buildings surveyed, all but three were found to have flouted one rule or the other. “Only about 10% of the buildings conformed to sanctioned plans and other regulations and 90% of the buildings have violations exceeding the set limit,” the survey said.
Corruption may plague the scheme
There are also fears among the citizen groups that corruption could plague the Akrama Sakrama scheme. “The property owners who have deviations more than the set limit may look to bribe the evaluators to ensure the violations are below the set norms, thus defeating the whole purpose of the scheme,” said Anand K Naidu, a social activist.
Credits ET Realty