Special Correspondent

Deviation from building plans has resulted in chaotic growth: NGOs

  • Building bylaw violations cannot be regularised: High Court
  • `MCC has failed to check violations in construction'

    MYSORE: Mysore City Corporation's (MCC) decision to seal a supermarket for non-compliance of law brings into focus the larger issue of building bylaw violations that are rampant in the city.

    The MCC on Tuesday sealed the Sivananda Super Market at V.V. Mohalla for allegedly transgressing building bylaws, footpath encroachment and non-procurement of trading licences among others.

    While welcoming the MCC's decision, the attention of the authorities was drawn to the frequent deviations from the sanctioned building plans that are contributing to the city's chaotic growth.

    Non-governmental organisations in the city, while welcoming the MCC's decision to crack down on the supermarket, have pointed out that the city authorities, including the MCC and the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA), were to blame for it.

    The MCC had claimed in recent years that it had the power to regularise 25 per cent deviations from the sanctioned plan of buildings and a deputy director of town planning had made a statement to such an affect before the Lokayukta of Karnataka.

    Court ruling

    The city-based voluntary groups quoted an earlier High Court order, which ruled that building bylaw violations could not be regularised. "Regularisation is a special power that has to be sparingly exercised in the minimum number of cases and provided, it does not offend the basic requirements and set at naught the very provisions that have been breached.

    The power of regularisation will have to be severely limited, it will have to be confined only to marginal and borderline cases where there is valid and good ground for making an allowance but even in such instances the regularization fee will have to be made extremely high in order to prevent abuse of this power," the court ruled. However, the MCC struck to its earlier stance.

    Organisations such as the Mysore Grahakara Parishat had called for imposing penalty for building bylaw violations to the extent of enhancing the property tax rather than a one-time penalty. This would make it cheaper to demolish the portion that violates the sanctioned plan rather than paying a higher property tax every year and hence would solve the problem of building bylaw violations.

    But this has not been given a serious thought by the Government.

    The MCC was also accused of turning a blind eye to setback violations in the construction of a building and the haphazard growth of the city was attributed to such defiance of law.

    A majority of the commercial buildings in the city are reckoned to have violated the setback regulation. Unless the MCC cracks down on them, the chaotic growth of Mysore would continue unabated, say the NGOs.