RWAs want BBMP to stop commercialisation in Indiranagar

From Bangalore Mirror

Resident welfare associations of Indiranagar have been trying to get rid of commercial enterprises in their neighbourhood since mid-2015. On realising that there were way too many commercial enterprises in the residential bylanes of Indiranagar I and II Stages, a few residents of the area sought information on them through RTI Act.

They wanted to figure out if commercial establishments operating from those lanes had valid trade licences. Much to their horror, the RTI responses have revealed that 99 per cent of them were operating without a licence.

Four RWAs, at a meeting on Saturday, agreed that it was not feasible to take on the illegality case by case. Though the RWAs had done what was BBMP’s job of tracing illegally run commercial establishments in a residential area, the latter is yet to initiate action.

Sneha Nandihal, a resident of Indiranagar I Stage, said, “We discussed the various options before us, such as approaching the Lokayukta to complain against dereliction of duty by BBMP officers, filing a contempt of court case, and contacting the urban development department. The RWAs will weigh the pros and cons and arrive at what course of action to take.”

By its acts of omission, BBMP is sabotaging the PIL judgment. They do not give permissions or trade licences or take cognizance of violations to turn a blind eye, leading to contempt of court. “In December, RWAs had written a complaint to the assistant executive engineer of the BBMP ward number 80, appealing that the renovation of a residential property being converted into a commercial office be stopped. However, the renovation work was allowed to be completed, and a shop set up,” added another RWA member.

Medical officer health (CV Raman Nagar zone) Vedavathy offered the BBMP explanation, “I am waiting for our engineer’s report. Action will be initiated against all buildings running commercial ventures in a residential area,” he said.

THE HC ORDER

In its Feb 19, 2014 ruling, the HC stated: “The BBMP shall not permit or grant any change of land usage in the following areas: Malleswaram, Richmond Town, Vasanthnagar, Jayanagar, Vijayanagar, Vishweshwarapur, Rajajinagar and RT Nagar. In addition thereto, residential areas mentioned and shown in CDP 1995, regardless of whether they are subsequently depicted as residential main or residential mixed, are also included. This order shall also apply to other residential areas regardless of the nomenclature used in the revised master plan of 2015. Any building plan that has been sanctioned trade licence or change of land user allowed subsequent to the order dated January 25, 2012 shall be recalled.”

ILLEGAL SHOPS

84 commercial establishments that have not converted land usage to commercial use nor have trade licences have been identified. The streets in question are all classified ‘residential‘ as per RMP 2015 and as per the erstwhile CDP 1994. The referenced streets are less than 40ft wide. RWAs want BBMP to take measures to stop commercial establishments.

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