Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Giving bye-laws the go-by

Giving bye-laws the go-by

Chitra V. Ramani
Bangalore: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has in place various building bye-laws though officials themselves concede that most buildings are constructed in violation of these bye-laws.

Last October, Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde, following complaints on large-scale violations, directed the Principal Secretary of the Urban Development Department to instruct commissioners of the city corporations, municipalities and chief officers of the town municipal councils to “regulate violations of building plans, approved by the respective local body and unauthorised constructions.”

He maintained that both the Urban Development and Town Planning authorities do not take any responsibility of monitoring developments, contemplated in the plans. “Invariably, these authorities escape their responsibilities by informing that they only provide ‘Technical Opinion’ on the proposed developments,” he said.

However, as per the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act 1961, the authorities are empowered to act against the violations of master plans, building and layout plans.

A senior official in the civic authority’s Town Planning Department maintained that the civic authority was doing its bit to ensure that buildings are constructed as per the plan. “Though the quality of construction does not come under our purview, owners are required to follow bye-laws stipulated in the master plan.

The onus of ensuring structural stability is on the builder,” the official said.

The official also said that before the plan is sanctioned/ approved by the civic authority, the builder is required to get a No Objection Certificate from seven civic authorities, including Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Bangalore Electricity Supply Company.

The official said that the buildings should be constructed under the supervision of a registered structural engineer. “The most important requirement is to ensure that it is designed and constructed as per norms prescribed in the National Building Code and in the ‘Criteria for Earthquake-Resistant Design for Structures’ published by the Bureau of Indian Standards,” the official added.

Sanction is accorded only if the plan is attested by one of the 2,000 engineers registered with the BBMP.

B.G. Chengappa, Director of Fire and Emergency Services, said builders have to get NOC twice from the department — once before the plan sanction from BBMP and again before occupation. “Generally, we stipulate the fire safety measures.


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