HC cites state failure to form a Metropolitan Planning Committee

Providing a breather to a large number of people, the Karnataka High Court has restrained the State government from granting permission to any type of change in land use until further orders for properties in the metropolitan area of Bangalore city.

The court passed the interim order as the government failed to constitute a Metropolitan Planning Committee, which will have to scrutinise the development plan for the city as per Section 503 A and B, introduced in 1994 in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act 1976.

‘Gross abuse’

Justice Ram Mohan Reddy passed the interim order in a petition filed by Jayanagar resident C.N. Kumar challenging the validity of Section 14A of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (KTCP) Act 1961, which empowers the planning authority and the State government to permit use of land for purposes other than that earmarked in the development plan.

The petitioner had complained that Section 14A was “grossly abused by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) as well as the government by permitting indiscriminate change in land use” causing nuisance to citizens.

“There shall be an interim order of stay of any further proceedings relating to change in land use under Section 14(A) of the KTCP Act in relation to properties within the metropolitan area of Bangalore city,” the court said.

The court said as Section 503A provides for a preparation of development plan every year by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and that has to be submitted to the Metropolitan Planning Committee, it is needless to state that any change in land use must be in tandem with the opinion of the Metropolitan Planning Committee.

Public suggestions

It also said that the establishment of the Metropolitan Planning Committee for Bangalore Metropolitan Region would pave the way to address all suggestions put forth by the public in the wake of notification issued by the BDA for preparation of the Master Plan 2035.

Meanwhile, the government told the court that the process for the constitution of the Metropolitan Planning Committee will be initiated, but an amendment to the KMC Act is essential and a Bill is likely to be placed before the legislature during this session.