Friday, April 22, 2005

Construction booms as CMCs, BDA bicker

Times Campaign CMC
Construction booms as CMCs, BDA bicker
The Times of India

Bangalore: Shortage of land within the BCC limit has led to a veritable construction boom on city outskirts, especially in CMC areas. It is not a new phenomenon, only that it has peaked in the past one or two years; and farmers are reaping a rich dividend selling off their plots to private developers.

This, in turn, has led to a number of illegal layouts cropping up in CMC areas. Most of them have been built by house-building cooperative societies formed by government andnationalised bank employees, while others are by private companies.

BDA puts the figure of unauthorised layouts in CMC areas at 109, most of them in Amruthahalli, Mylasandra, Dasarahalli, Thanisandra, Harohalli, Nagadevanahalli and Vibhuthipura. BDA website,, has a link to these layouts.

BDA commissioner M.N. Vidyashankar says notices have been issued to all concerned, and not surprisingly, some of them have been challenged in courts. “If developers don’t respond, we can even demolish the layouts,” he told The Times of India.

CMC officials, on the other hand, plead helplessness. “We do not have any sanctioning powers,” a senior official in Byatrayanapura CMC points out. And from here begins the “passing the buck act”.
But Vidyashankar doesn’t buy that. “CMCs cannot absolve themselves of all responsibilities. We approve the layout but the developers get building licences from the respective CMCs.”

CMCs say that when BDA hands them over layouts, it does not provide all facilities. “For instance, BDA formed HBR Layout in Byatrayanapura CMC without asphalting roads or giving underground drainage connections. We had to do that,” Byatrayanapura CMC officials say.

Vidyashankar is again unmoved. “We handed over the layout to the CMC, so that they would do road asphalting. Why else do they collect property tax and development charges from residents? If they (CMCs) have such complaints, let them say so before,” he fumed.
While CMCs and BDA bicker, developers have a field day. The situation is such that a revenue site (without any amenities) measuring 30 ft x 40 ft goes for upwards of Rs 5 lakh while a more developed site of the same dimension is priced at Rs 10 lakh. The high prices notwithstanding, people are willing to pay.

But, all doesn’t seem too well. Residents of Yelahanka CMC, for example, have many horror stories to relate. “In an apartment complex, the UGD facilities are so poor that dirty water from upper floor bathrooms flood kitchens on the lower floors,” they say.

People, who are unlucky to live in such complexes, simply have to accept the situation. Unless of course, like the residents of Bannerghatta Road, who staged a dharna for better roads, they take matters into their own hands.

Still In Stone Age?

Kudos to TOI for taking up a campaign on CMC. Please visit L.B. Shastrinagar/Vimanpura, a part of K.R. Puram CMC close to HAL Market and airport. The condition of roads near Vimanpura post office and telecom office is pathetic. It gives an impression that we are still living in the Stone Age. A few apartments have come up recently, but the area lacks even basic civic amenities.
— S. Vighy

Wake Up, Please
It was heartening to see a Times campaign on Bangalore CMCs. Ramamurthynagar too is a neglected area. The condition of the main roads is pathetic, worse after a rain. Of late, the BCC has dug up roads and left mounds of sticky mud piled up in the middle. There are no drains too in the area. One can only hope that the corporator will wake up soon.
— Meena Bunyan

Construction boom in CMC areas as land value shoots up. BDA says there are 109 unauthorised layouts in CMC areas; has issued notices to developers. CMCs wash their hands of the situation, blame BDA, say they have no ‘plan-sanctioning’ powers. BDA says CMCs have responsibilities to fulfil. Hapless citizens caught in the middle.


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