Building bylaw violations on rise

Building bylaw violations on rise

BBMP receiving around 20 complaints a month; many buildings have extra storeys

Building bylaw violations on rise

The violation of building byelaws seems to be rampant in the City as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is registering about 15 to 20 complaints from citizens every month.

The BBMP Building Byelaws, 2003, seem to exist only on paper. There are innumerable buildings in the City with the number of floors exceeding the permitted limit.

“The number is on the rise and the Public Works Department (PWD) engineers deployed in the Palike are taking action as and when the complaints are reported.

Usually, a notice is first served on the violators, followed by demolition as per the Section 321 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, 1976. At times, builders, with the help of local leaders, construct buildings without permission,” said Chowde Gowda, BBMP additional director, Town Planning.

According to Palike authorities, the building violation depends on the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) which is nothing but a quotient obtained by dividing the total covered area of all floors by the area of the plot.

"FAR is the controlling factor in assessing the extent of violation. If a building with more than two floors leaves a few inches vacant around the site, then they do not come under violation zone. Ideally no 20’X30’ and 30’X40’ site can build more than two floors," said a Palike official.

In the past five months, the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) too has received around 100 complaints about City’s infrastructure and other problems, with a chunk of complaints related to building byelaw violations. BMTF chief Dr R P Sharma said, “We will conduct an inquiry first and based on that, we will take appropriate steps such as issuing notices to engineers and filing First Information Report (FIR) among others.”

Residents feel that though Palike claims to take action, there are many instances where they have heard about the alleged involvement of builders, politicians and Palike officers in building law violations. 

Recently, Home Minister K J George, based on the complaint from residents of Cookes Town (near Frazer Town), about building violators, inspected the area. He directed the Palike officers to take action against the builder who was constructing six floors on a 20’x30’ site.

“We gave a letter to Palike Joint Commissioner last month with the list of the buildings that have violated the byelaws. But, till date we have not got any response. We feel approaching court is the only alternative,” said N Ramesh, president, Cookes Town Residents’ Welfare Association.