Post-RTI plea, BBMP okays half-built structure

Post-RTI plea, BBMP okays half-built structure

Less than two months after its building plan was sanctioned, a four-storey structure with a base­ment came up in Arehalli near Padmanabhanagar.

This wonder work happened because the construction had been going on for several months without the building plan being sanctioned by the BBMP. It was only after a citizen sought information under the RTI Act that the BBMP ward office hurriedly sanctioned the building plan.

Documents provided by one Nagendra (name changed) to Deccan Herald show that the building plan was sanctioned only for three floors above the basement on June 18, 2014. But four floors above the basement have already come up.

Nagendra produced the electricity bills, which show that the connection was given in December 2013 and bills worth Rs 2,500 were paid every month. 

He said, “The electricity bills show that the construction was in full swing. What’s more, there is no setback around the building as mandated under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, and the extra floor has been constructed illegally. I had to dig out this information because it is destroying my neighbourhood.”

In Arehalli alone, Nagendra says, at least 100 such buildings have come up without building plan, and gross violation, shady title deeds and other illegalities galore.  
“I wonder what will happen to Bangalore if the mushrooming of buildings with 200-1,000 per cent is allowed. Will these buildings get water, electricity, air, sunlight and playgrounds. Bangalore is on the verge of death. If no remedial measures are taken now, the City would perish,” said Nagendra.

But one of the partners in the construction company, which is building the said structure, has justified the violation. “I am not the only one violating the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act. There are hundreds of houses in my neighbourhood, which came up without the sanctioned building plan,” said the partner, identified only as Dinesh.

He said he was “legally entitled” to not leave the setbacks. “Are others leaving the setbacks? If others are not following the rules, why should I be asked to follow it? You don’t know how we builders are harassed by the Palike engineers to part with our profits. After shelling out huge money, shouldn’t we violate the rules,” he asked.

TP section overcrowded

The building violation is a very lucrative business in Bangalore where everyone gets a good share, right from the politician to the contractor, and Palike officers to engineers and even the individuals.

This is the reason that the BBMP’s Town Planning section was overcrowded by the engineers from not only the Palike but also from other government departments such as PWD, rural engineering services, irrigation and other municipal corporations.

As there were complaints galore against the engineers crowding the TP section, the BBMP commissioner had to shunt out 45 people. But one of the engineers managed to stay back in the Palike using his clout.
DH News Service

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