Bureaucrats propose, Lokayukta disposes

Jayanagar apartment stands on a bedrock of by-law violations

Bureaucrats propose, Lokayukta disposes

Tuesday’s fire accident at the Carlton Towers office complex on old airport road, which cut short nine lives and left more than 60 people injured, is a sort of an eye-opener on the tens and thousands of structures that have come up in the city violating building bye-laws.

Most of them have managed to get NoC and occupancy certificates and one more illegal building might have been added to this dubious list had the Lokayukta not intervened and stalled a 14-floor residential building owned by Bysani Developers at 14/1, 1 Cross, Mountain Road, Jayanagar.

A Pandora’s box

The Lokayukta investigation has opened a Pandora’s box of apathy and deceit where Town Planning, BBMP, BWSSB and Fire and Emergency Services departments have gone all out to misinterpret the law just to favour an individual.

Going by the rule book and the existing road width, not more than four floors could have been sanctioned for the residential building but in collusion with various departments, the builder has gone ahead and constructed 14 floors.

The Lokayukta has exposed the way the departments’ officials have submitted their spot inspection reports, especially interpretation of two roads of varying levels as one to make up the required width, and overlooking the presence of water supply lines and reservoir near the site.

Comedy of errors

At one stage, former BBMP commissioner Subramanya had put his foot down and said “no” to the sanctioned plan.

He had passed orders for cancellation of the plan which was already granted as there is no road of the minimum width abutting the high-rise building. But the new commissioner ignored the earlier decision and issued NoC.

Nelson’s eye

The BWSSB turned the Nelson’s eye to the encroachment of their property. Interestingly, the fire department issued NoC without verifying the required safety norms but subsequently tried to correct it by asking the BBMP commissioner not to issue completion certificate unless a clearance certificate is issued by their department.

All this proved that in case of an emergency like Carlton Towers fire accident, this Jayanagar residential complex which has completely violated the building bye-laws could well be a trap, more so because the structure is without space for movement of fire tenders and ambulances.

Now, for the first time in its history, the Lokayukta has issued notices to Bharathlal Meena, BBMP Commissioner; H B Mukund, Director of Town Planning; Rangesh and Topgi, Members of Town Planning, BDA; Rama Murthy, Chairman BWSSB, and Venkata Raju, chief engineer BWSSB. The fully-built apartment stands vacant as of now.

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