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No business in residential areas, please

Updated - December 26, 2016 09:09 pm IST

Published - December 26, 2016 07:24 pm IST

BBMP will issue notices to commercial establishments in residential areas

BENGALURU: Over 30,000 businesses could face the heat as the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will start issuing notices this week to weed out shops, bars and pubs that have come up in residential areas across the city.

The city has about 18.9 lakh properties. The civic agency estimates that about 88,350 properties have been declared commercial. However, only 50,000 of them have trade licences.

“This means that approximately 38,350 of them are not authorised,” said BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad.

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The civic body had, earlier this month, issued an ultimatum to businesses that are violating the Revised Master Plan - 2015 and Zoning Regulations by running commercial operations in residential zones or in buildings which had a residential sanction to voluntarily shut down or face action.

Mr. Prasad added that the BBMP’s health officers and joint commissioners had recently been instructed on the format of the notices, which would give an opportunity to the owner or occupants of such properties to explain themselves.

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Number much higher

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However, the BBMP’s estimates of illegal commercial establishments is much lower than the actual number, said Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO of Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF).

“There have been some voluntarily closures in Jayanagar in the last few weeks of such establishments, mainly because locals followed up incessantly. What we need from the BBMP is to realise that technology can be used to transparently show the progress of the closure drives and we are making available documented addresses to help them,” he said.

The NBF has constituted working teams in 14 locations covering Jayanagar, Koramangala, Indiranagar, Banaswadi and HRBR Layout to provide with ground-level information to the BBMP on the progress of the closure drive.

RWAs are hopeful

Residents’ associations which have been waging a long battle against commercialisation of their areas are pinning their hopes on the outcome of this exercise.

“The number of other issues that the city faces, such as noise and air pollution, parking and garbage problems in residential areas, are because of this one problem (commercialisation). We can expect executional challenges,” said Gopi Krishnaswamy, head of the sub-committee for illegal establishments, HAL 3rd Stage Tax-payers and Residents’ Association.

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