Around 300 persons among those who had bought villas in the gated community ‘Classic Orchards’ on Bannerghatta Road were recently in for a surprise when BBMP officials landed up to literally demolish their gate and compound, demanding access to the roads inside. The developer had relinquished the roads to the BBMP.
“The whole point of a gated community is its exclusiveness and security due to access control. That is what the developers advertise and anybody who has bought plots in these gated communities can land up being duped like us,” said Subbu Hegde, a resident of Classic Orchards.
Surprisingly, none of the 500 gated communities that have sprung up in the city are recognised by the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961. While the norms have been updated to include apartments, the law is yet to catch up with gated communities.
“As the law stands today, any road is a public property. Any conversion-of-land-use order will also stipulate that access to other adjoining areas has to be given through the property. So, access control at gated communities is legally difficult to defend,” said a senior Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) official.Law needs to catch up
R.K. Mishra, member of Technical Advisory Committee in BBMP and BDA, resides in a gated community near Whitefield. He says that the law has to catch up with the times.
He argued that developers of gated communities invested and developed the roads and other infrastructure within the community. The developer advertises these facilities and the cost of the property includes the cost of this common infrastructure. “With civic bodies not investing in such infrastructure, how can they claim ownership of this infrastructure,” he argued.