Neighbours against building violations

Neighbours against building violations

Online mechanism for verification of plan.

(Above) Fire and Emergency Services personnel at the building collapse site at Hutchins Road last month. NDRF team helps recover bodies from the debris. DH PhotoS/Pushkar V

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has a unique solution to check back-to-back collapse of buildings in Bengaluru -- an online mechanism to sanction building plans.

Moreover, proposing a ‘Trust and Verify’ approach to sanction building plans for residential plots built on sites up to a 60X40-ft size, the civic body has empowered the neighbours to monitor plan violations, if any, and bring it to the Palike’s notice.

With the neighbours left at the receiving end in several cases of multi-storey building collapses across the city, the BBMP has decided to empower citizens/neighbours to be whistleblowers of any violations of the sanctioned plan. 

Ordering to upload all the existing data on building plan approval to the Land and Building Plan Approval System (LBPAS) software, BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad issued an order on July 24. The software was developed as part of the ‘Trust and Verify’ approach under the Centre’s ambitious Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) initiative. 

BBMP’s Town Planning additional director R Prasad told DH that the latest move will not only put an end to the existing manual approval but provides for constant monitoring of any plan violation by vigilant citizens. “We are working on the software and tweaking it to suit the requirement under the Karnataka Municipal Council (KMC) Act. The work is almost coming to an end,” he said.

According to R Prasad, the entire procedure is about trusting citizens for verification which is very much similar to the Self Assessment Scheme (SAS) of property tax where building owners voluntarily pay their taxes.

Providing insights into the functioning of the software, R Prasad said: “Property owners will have to upload their documents through BBMP-recognised architects. The software will analyse each and every provision of building architecture, generating permission to the applicants in three days.” 

If there is no response within three days after the uploading of documents, the applicant can assume the application is approved, according to officials.

When asked whether the BBMP will keep track of any violations thereafter, R Prasad said that is exactly where the citizens must come forward and tip the civic body about violations.”