Bengaluru

Building plan violations rampant in Bengaluru

Bellandur, where an under-construction building collapsed earlier this week, is an archetype of the chaos around planned development of IT parks and industrial zones in Bengaluru.

Bellandur, where an under-construction building collapsed earlier this week, is an archetype of the chaos around planned development of IT parks and industrial zones in Bengaluru.  

No comprehensive survey of illegal structures; developers cashing in on lax monitoring

In the narrow bylanes of the city, it isn’t common to find towering buildings on small plots. As land prices rise, even small-time developers are attempting to cash in on profits and lax monitoring — something that is squarely being blamed for the collapse of a five-storey under-construction building at Bellandur on Wednesday.

Bellandur presents itself as an archetype of the chaos around planned “development” of IT parks and industrial zones. In the bylanes, towering PG accommodations — for instance, surrounding the collapsed structure are buildings that rise up to seven floors on a similar area — have come up to cater to the huge working-class population in the area. PGs have come up dime a dozen, and an additional floor constructed leads to widening of profits. “These builders violate the plans readily, and then give it to those who run PG facilities. The rent can be as high as Rs. 5 lakh a month,” said a policeman in the area.

While contending with the rescue operation at the building collapse site, Fire Services officials pointed out that the neighbouring buildings have violated the norms by not applying for a no-objection certificate even though they are higher than 15 m.

With no comprehensive survey of illegal structures, the only indication for the rampant violations in the city is a sample survey in three localities by the BBMP’s Town Planning Department in 2014. Of the 400 buildings surveyed, just three were found to have been constructed with no violations. Of these, nearly 69 per cent of the buildings had violated the FAR (floor-area ratio) norms which saw additional floors being constructed.

Similarly, the Fire and Emergency Services Department’s survey found 15,850 “highrises” — greater than 15m — of which barely 10 per cent had been covered by a fire audit.

Immediately following the collapse, the BBMP Commissioner sent out a release warning builders against violating these norms. However, Mayor G. Padmavathi believes much more needs to be done, including an amendment to the Karnataka Municipality Act to introduce stringent action against officials for these lapses. “BBMP officials are definitely involved in it. Suspending officials for a few weeks or months is not enough,” she said.

Though they had planned to conceive such a change in the laws in the past, she claimed the amendments would be introduced in the council soon and sent to the State government for approval.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 4:18:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Building-plan-violations-rampant-in-Bengaluru/article15432509.ece

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