Friday, March 20, 2009

Metro rail corridor set for boom

Metro rail corridor set for boom

Anil Kumar Sastry
But nothing promised for those who make way for it
BANGALORE: If you live along the “Namma Metro” corridor, your area is likely to witness unprecedented commercial growth once the metro rail starts running.

A recent Government Order decrees that localities abutting “Namma Metro” stations and terminals — within a distance of 150 metres of these structures — could become commercial areas as the floor area ratio (FAR) has been increased to four for these areas. The order amends the zoning regulations of the Revised Master Plan – 2015 of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

Consequently, Regulation 3.16 (ix) under Chapter 3 – Regulations applicable to all Zones – came to be amended as follows: Areas within a distance of 150 metres from the outer boundary of the metro station/ terminal, subject to the confirmation from the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd., (BMRCL), will be eligible for a maximum FAR of four for all permissible use, irrespective of the FAR applicable for the respective uses in the respective tables.

Little cheer
However, this largesse from the authorities is unlikely to bring any cheer for thousands of shop owners who have lost their livelihood across the city as no promises had been made for their relocation.

The entire 41-km metro route will virtually be converted into a hub of commercial activities. While the east-west Corridor (Byappanahalli to Mysore Road) with a distance of 18.1 km will have 17 stations, including five underground, the north-south corridor (Hessaraghatta Cross to Jaraganahalli) will have 24 stations, including three underground, within a distance of 23.6 km.

Earlier, BMRCL planned to allow commercial exploitation of land within 50 metres on either side of the track along the route.

However, sources in BMRCL said it was felt prudent to allow commercial activities within the vicinity of stations and terminals so as to curtail avoidable movement of people.

People using the stations/terminals could shop their necessities within the walkable distance thereby curbing use of private vehicles, the sources said.

Still, only small portions of land, measuring around 200 metres between two stations, could remain non-commercial, that too, if it was not converted into commercial. Because the distance between each station was around 1,000 metres and the average length of stations is 220 metres.

And the new regulations allow commercial activities within 150 metres distance from the outer boundary of the station/ terminal.

Multi-level car parking
In order to address the severe parking problem that is haunting the city, the amendment has made special provisions for multi-level car parking (MLCP). When an MLCP is proposed on a plot as an independent activity, there shall not be any limitation on FAR or the height of the building subject to the condition that it satisfies fire safety and airport authority restrictions, the amendment said.

Permissible land use
A host of commercial activities, including retail shops, restaurants and hotels, showrooms, offices, boarding and lodging houses, banking counters, indoor recreation, multiplexes, clubs, godowns, two-wheeler parking and other conforming commercial activities that are ancillary to the main use could be undertaken within this declared zone.

However, for ancillary use purpose, the area shall not exceed 45 per cent of the permissible FAR of the project when taken up by central/ state governments or their agencies and 20 per cent of the total built up area for others.

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