Though BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad has ordered his subordinates to curb illegal commercial activities in residential areas, it is yet to be seen if there is the political will to get it implemented. In the meantime, 20 residents welfare associations have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the order is implemented successfully. For this, they have decided to put pressure on the ward engineers and medical health officers concerned.
The drive will begin once the commissioner’s one-week deadline ends on the coming Wednesday. It is estimated that there are more than 800 illegal establishments functioning in residential areas like Koramangala, Sadashivanagar, Sanjaynagar, Indiranagar, Sheshadrinagar, Kumara Park West, Banashankari and other parts of the city. The details of these establishments were obtained under the Right to Information Act, and have been submitted to the BBMP chief and head of the legal cell.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg and the number is much larger for the city spread over an area of 710 sq km. Speaking to media, Vijayan Menon, a resident of more than three decades in Koramangala who had filed a writ petition against illegal commercial activities taking place in residential areas in 2008, says that though the commissioner has issued a notification, ensuring that it is implemented is in the hands of the residents.
“Officials won’t do anything until they are put under pressure. That’s why 20 RWAs have joined hands to make it happen,” he added. Menon said that they have met the commissioner and other BBMP officials and have given them a list of the illegal businesses running in the residential areas. “The information has been obtained under the RTI but it is up to the officers to act upon it. Let them cross-check the details once again before taking action,” he said.
Menon said that they will work together with the local engineer and medical officers to enforce the order. “Today, the system is working in such a way that if nobody puts pressure on local officers, the orders won’t be implemented,” he said. Commissioner Prasad said that he met the representatives of the RWAs, and they gave him a list of the illegal establishments. “I have decided to clear this issue first and then we will concentrate on the entire city,” he said.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE COMMISSIONER’S ORDERS
* BBMP has noticed that revised master plan-2015 and zoning regulations have been violated.
* Plans taken for residential activities have been converted into commercial activities in all over the city.
* Such violations are obstructing free flow of traffic, cause nuisance and disturbance to public peace and also problems to dwellers in residential areas.
* Palike has decided to take steps in closing unauthorised/illegal commercial activities run in residential areas.
* The violations: obtaining sanction plan for residential building, but running commercial activities/opening of shops in parking area/ basement/ground floor/mezzanine floor in residential is a violation.
* The violators are informed to close down voluntarily all illegal and unauthorised commercial activities/trades/industries by Wednesday.
* On failure to do so, steps would be taken to close down them as per the provisions of KMC Act 1976 and other relevant laws and rules.
Credits Bangalore Mirror