The court questioned the BBMP about how such acts, which were in clear violation of zonal laws, could be done.

 Karnataka HC pulls up BBMP for allowing school in residential zoneFIle photo: Polytropos via Wikimedia Commons
news Civic Issues Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 20:06

The Karnataka High Court pulled up the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike on Wednesday and passed an order forbidding the civic body to grant an occupational certificate to an upcoming school in a residential area.

The Karnataka HC also asked the standing counsel for BBMP as to how such acts could be done in violation of current zonal laws.

In the writ petition submitted by Nitin Sheshadri and Vishwanath Kashyap, residents of Koramangala Block 3, they submitted the sanctioned plan and the developments that are carried out in the said land to "utilize the same for commercial activity in a residential main area" which was a clear violation of the provisions of the Revised Master Plan 2015.    

In its reply, the counsel for BBMP undertook that the BBMP would inspect the property to check on the violations of Revised Master Plan 2015 and submit a report.

The court also issued a notice to the owners and the builder of the property, and the matter has been adjourned to 13 September 2017.

“We hope that the High Court, as the highest judicial forum in the state sends a stern message to all those who are violating zoning regulations with impunity”, said Nitin.

Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation said, “We welcome the Karnataka High Court’s order and hope government agencies along with those encouraging reckless commercialisation in residential areas are held accountable for such blatant violation of the law.”

Recently, the Karnataka government’s decision to allow commercial activity in residential areas through a draft ‘common zoning’ regulation had earned itself the ire of citizens and activists in Bengaluru. There was widespread demonstration by several resident welfare associations (RWAs) and activist groups across the city to indicate their stiff opposition to the move.  

Previously, RWAs of various Bengaluru neighbourhoods approached the court after facing apathy from the civic authorities and state government agencies over illegal operation of commercial establishments in residential areas.

On multiple occasions, the authorities have been asked by the court to shut down illegal establishments but little has changed on the ground.

Swarna Venakataraman, one of the residents TNM spoke to on the issue, said, “In December 2016, the BBMP had started issuing notices to illegal establishments in Indiranagar. But since then nothing has changed.”

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