BENGALURU: Only 344 of the city’s high-rise buildings, including residential apartments, are fit to be occupied, according to the municipal corporation. This means the city has thousands of high-rises without occupancy certificates, experts say.
An occupancy certificate is a document issued by the municipal corporation certifying a building‘s compliance with applicable building codes and other laws. It is a must under the Karnataka Apartment Ownership Act, 1972.
The town planning wing of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) issued 344 occupancy certificates to builders of high-rises in the past five years. Bengaluru North leads with 216 occupancy certificates of which 136 were for residential high-rises.
The BBMP’s building bye-laws 2003 define a high-rise as a building with ground floor plus four or more floors above it, which also translates into a building above 15 metres in height.
Bengaluru has more than just 344 high-rises because the Department of Fire and Emergency Services has issued clearance certificates to 890 high-rises following the 2010 Carlton Towers fire.
DGP (Fire Force) MN Reddi said the BBMP’s figure is far below the actual number of high-rises. “If we don’t give builders a clearance certificate, they cannot apply for an occupancy certificate,” he said.”When thousands of buildings are there, how can there be only so few occupancy certificates issued? BBMP has to explain this.” The Fire department estimates Bengaluru to have nearly 20,000 high-rises.
The fire department’s no-objection certificate (NOC) comes before a clearance certificate.”Builders need NOC before they start construction. They come back to us for a clearance certificate where we certify whether the builder has provided proper setbacks and other measures.”
Ajit Sequeira, a member of Whitefield Rising, pointed out that a recent random sample survey showed that 70% apartments in Whitefield did not possess an occupancy certificate. “Many of us faced problems with getting khatas. That’s when we found that occupancy certificate is needed to get khata,” he said.
Builders ignore occupancy certificate as it is not needed during registration of property during purchase, he said. “This is one of the reasons for Bengaluru‘s problems. Buildings are flouting norms.”
Credits ET Realty