Brakes on common zoning regulations

HC restrains State from finalising draft for all planning areas

September 07, 2017 08:58 pm | Updated 08:58 pm IST

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday restrained the State government from finalising the draft notification, issued on July 1, 2017 by the Urban Development Department, for creating Common Zoning Regulations (CZR) for all Local Planning Areas (LPA) in the State.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee and Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar passed the interim order on a PIL petition, filed by Citizens Action Forum and two other residents’ welfare association of Bengaluru.

The petitioners have claimed that the State government had no power to issue draft notification as the authority to prepare draft development plan has been vested with the Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC), which has been constituted as per Article 243ZE of the Constitution.

“The draft CZR notification is issued with abject disregard to the provisions of the Constitution. It is arbitrary, unscientific, lacks basic application of mind, and is antithetic to the concept of town planning,” it has been claimed in the petition.

The draft CZR, issued in the guise of amending the existing zoning regulations, will actually replace the entire zoning regulations. The proposed CZRs is contrary to the objective of the existing Revised Master Plan 2015 of Bengaluru, the petitioners contended.

Terming the proposed CZR as aimed at helping the ‘real estate lobby’ in the guise of an initiative towards ‘ease of doing business’, the petitioners have said that CZR allows mixed land use in all residential buildings situated on 9 metre (29.52 feet) wide roads without imposing any cap or limit on non-residential use. This would allow rampant commercialisation, over crowding and increase traffic on narrow roads, worsen parking problem, add to garbage problem, and air and noise pollution, the petitioners pointed out.

They argued that there is no statutory provision to formulate draft CZR for the entire State as the requirement of each LPA is different and zoning regulations are framed depending on the local requirements.

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