Liberal issuance of No Objection Certificates (NoCs) and unmonitored sanction of building plans by government agencies are what have led to Bangalore’s unplanned development.
Permitting high-rise buildings in parched areas of the City which do not have proper infrastructure is not just affecting the environment but has also put many apartment dwellers in a very difficult situation.
With no proper guidelines or co-ordination among different government agencies, high-rise buildings have been mushrooming with or without permits, says a government official.
Take the example of the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) which provides water and sanitary connections. The board’s practice was to issue NoCs for building projects regardless of whether they have infrastructure as per the board’s guidelines or not.
Scenario before 2010
Before 2010, the BWSSB had been issuing NoCs to whoever approached it for projects located in the Bangalore Metropolitan Area (BMA), which includes Bangalore Urban district, the adjacent areas and those which may be notified by the State government from time to time.
However, in 2010, after the BWSSB Act was amended, it restricted the issuance of NoCs for high-rise buildings to those projects being executed in the BBMP jurisdiction and adjacent areas. Here again, the 110 villages that were brought under the BBMP jurisdiction do not have any infrastructure for water supply or sanitary connections.
As per its records, the BWSSB has issued over 1,200 NoCs since 2002 for high-rise building projects across the City. It is, however, a completely different matter that an equal number of projects have come up without the NoC from BWSSB .
BWSSB Engineer-in-Chief T Venkataraju said that initially in 2002, though enough water was available for the City, there were no takers. In a move to help develop the City, the BWSSB started issuing NoCs to whoever approached it for water and sanitary connections.
“This unregulated issuance of NoCs was stopped after the BWSSB Act was amended in 2010, restricting the issuance of NoCs to the BBMP and the surrounding areas. The NoCs were issued after the builder complied with 16 conditions,” he added.
Among the 16 conditions, the BWSSB has said water supply to the project would be provided subject to availability of water prevailing at the time of sanctioning the connection.
The board has also said that the builder should not let untreated sewage into the nearest tank or nala and that the builder was responsible for any environmental pollution.
Another condition is that since there are no underground drain lines in the area (110 villages) until the board’s sewer lines are provided, the builder should treat the sewage and only treated effluent should be allowed in the natural valley.