New rules to regulate apartment construction
All urban local bodies to be covered
The state government proposes to regulate construction of residential apartments through new Zoning Rules. The draft common Zoning Rules (ZR) notified by the Urban Development Department recently, stipulate the minimum size of the plot for a residential apartment should be 500 square meters (5,381.56 square feet) and minimum width of the road the plot is facing should be 9 meters (30 feet). Currently, there are no such curbs. The proposed rules would take prospective effect. File photo
The new rules would apply to all urban local bodies across the state, including Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). “Apartment buildings” mean one or more buildings, each containing more than four dwelling units, as per the notification. The ZR is aimed at uniform urban development.
“Apartments are mushrooming in the fast-developing cities like Bengaluru and Mysuru. In the absence of proper regulation in the existing master plans, apartments are being constructed everywhere. Apartments are coming up even on 30/40 and 60/40 sq ft plots across Bengaluru. Hence, it is proposed to regulate construction of apartments under the common zoning rules,” Director of Town Planning L Shashikumar said.
The ZR also propose to empower Urban Development Authorities (UDAs) such as Bengaluru Development Authority to relocate private lands that are earmarked as parks and open spaces in the master plan. The relocation is permitted if 50% of the land is handed over to the UDA concerned free of cost by the owner. Then, owner of such property will be given the right to use the remaining 50% of the land for any other purpose like commercial, industrial or residential, as applicable to the adjacent property.
However, minimum extent of land to be handed over should be 1,000 metres (10,763 sq ft), the notification stated.
Under Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961, UDAs have to acquire private lands earmarked as parks and open spaces in the master plan by paying compensation to the owners. Interestingly, none of the UDAs in the state, including BDA, has been able to do so due to funds crunch. Hence, the government has mooted this proposal wherein both land owners and UDAs stand to gain.
Joint Director of Town Planning M S Shantala said UDAs have to acquire private lands meant for parks and open spaces within five years from the date of notification of the master plan. If not, owners of such properties can reclaim the land. “Instead of waiting for five years, the owners can surrender 50% of the land and make use of the remaining 50%,” she added.