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A resident association's novel campaign to keep shops away

Madhuri Rao, DH News Service, Bengaluru, Dec 7 2017, 23:18 IST
A board put up in Indiranagar, stating that commercial activities are prohibited in residential areas.

A board put up in Indiranagar, stating that commercial activities are prohibited in residential areas.

For commercial establishments in Indiranagar 1st phase, the message, quite literally, is on the board.

There are prominent signboards citing the BBMP notice and the high court judgement to make residential areas no-go zones for shops and businesses, while there are also smaller boards at street corners, warning residents against falling for the sweet talk of real estate agents and allowing businesses to function from their premises.

This campaign is the effort of the BM Kaval Residents' Welfare Association to keep commercial establishments out of Indiranagar 1st phase.

The prominent board at the locality reads: "This layout and its surrounding areas are Residential Main as per RMP 2015. As per the public notice issued by Commissioner of BBMP on 6/12/2016 and the Honourable court of Karnataka in Writ Petition 3676/2008, commercial use of buildings in this area is prohibited."

The smaller boards read like a message for the locals: "This area and its surroundings are classified as 'Residential Main' and use of buildings in this area for commercial activities is prohibited by law. Request tenants and owners not to be cheated by real estate agents or otherwise, and not use the premises for commercial activities."

No name boards

Despite the boards and notices to close down shops functioning in roads narrower than 40 feet, commercial establishments in these residential neighbourhoods do not pay heed. A year after being slapped with closure notices, the shops continue to function in disguise without their name boards.

"The (board campaign) was started by a person in JP Nagar and we picked it up after the BBMP's notice," BM Kaval Residents' Welfare Association president Sneha Nandihal said. "Some shops seemed unperturbed in spite of the campaign."

In Koramangala too

Taking a cue from Indiranagar residents, citizens in Koramangala 3rd phase have also put up the boards. "We want the message to be loud and clear: that we do not allow commercial activities here," said Nitin Sheshadri, a resident of Koramangala.

Statistics from the BBMP reveal that 1,500 shops in the east zone have been served closure notices, but just 96 of them have actually acted upon it.

The data also showed that only 65 of 759 shops have been closed in the south zone until June.

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