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Allow high-rises in city, high court tells BBMP

Bengaluru, June 28, 2016, DHNS 2:58 IST
The court was hearing a batch of PILs challenging the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Regularisation of Unauthorised Development or Constructions) Rules, 2014, or the Akrama-Sakrama rules.
The High Court of Karnataka on Monday observed that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike should allow high-rises in Bengaluru as the city is not in the earthquake-prone zone.

The court was hearing a batch of PILs challenging the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Regularisation of Unauthorised Development or Constructions) Rules, 2014, or the Akrama-Sakrama rules.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice Ravi Malimath said these rules would affect the middle and upper-middle classes of society as they were the ones who invested in apartments.

The bench observed that the Palike should frame suitable rules to encourage construction of multi-floor buildings rather than making a provision to regularise them.

The bench said the Akrama-Sakrama rules will affect citizens who have abided by the existing floor area ratio norms. If uniform rules are framed, those who have already constructed and those who wish to build more floors will also benefit.

The petitioners’ advocate, Jayna Kothari, said there were many builders and developers in the city who have violated the existing norms and constructed many floors. Regularising them will lead to lack of open spaces, he added.

The bench adjourned the case to August 9.

The petitioners, Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development and others, have sought the quashing of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Regularisation of Unauthorised Development or Constructions) Rules 2014, contending that the penalty percentage as per the new rules was less compared with the percentage prescribed in the 2007 rules.

Another petitioner, Citizens Action Forum, has raised the issue of the state government not consulting the Metropolitan Planning Committee, established in January 2014, before notifying the Akrama-Sakrama rules. It also contended that the government was not just regularising building violation, but also the violation of land use.

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