Readers may recall that after litigation before the High Court of Karnataka, the Bangalore Development Authority had submitted an affidavit before the division bench of the High Court detailing a list of proposed changes in the zoning regulations. The affidavit signed by Sham Bhatt, the Commissioner of the BDA promised that the changes mentioned in the affidavit would be carried out “in letter and spirit”. Based on the affidavit the High Court in WP3676 of 2008 recorded the affidavit and closed the case.
Much to the shock of citizens, the final gazette notification had no connection whatsoever with the affidavit filed. Critical changes made include:
* BDA had promised not to allow commercialization in roads 40 ft width or less. Now the gazette notification conveniently changes this to 12 metres. As a result, commercialization would be possible on roads of 40 ft as 12 metres is a few inches short of 40 ft.
* Conversion of ancillary use (commercial) to main use was not allowed as per the affidavit except in Ring 3 (newer areas of the city). The notification extends this to Ring 2 which includes areas like Koramangala.
* The list of commercial activities permitted in residential areas was confined to a small select list of trades useful to residents. Instead the gazetted changes would permit a huge host of activities including IT companies and manufacturing units.
Citizen groups have knocked on the doors of the High Court to stay the proposed notification and summon officials concerned on contempt charges.
It is learnt that an upset Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has summoned senior officials to enquire as to why court orders have been disobeyed.
Grant of trade license illegal: Residents
Residents of Koramangala are aghast over granting of a trade license to a commercial establishment and have termed it as illegal.
The commercial establishment calling itself “Breakfast Club” is situated on 8th Main Road, Jakkasandra Block Koramangala in an area zoned as Residential as per RMP 2015. It may be recalled that the High Court of Karnataka in a Writ Petition 3676/2008 filed by Citizens Action Forum and others had restrained BBMP from issuing trade licenses to commercial establishments in residential areas.
Objections of the citizens and Koramangala 3rd Block RWA had been specifically given in writing to the BBMP Health Department. In spite of the objections, a license has been issued.
This is a classic case of the fence eating the crop. The BBMP has some very serious questions to answer.