Friday, September 30, 2005

BMP survey makes owners suspicious in Koramangala

BMP survey makes owners suspicious in Koramangala
The Hindu

Property owners served notices asking for sanctioned plans

# A team of 20 engineers formed to conduct the survey
# Residents fear harassment from officials
# Over 300 buildings have deviated from sanctioned plan

BANGALORE: Residents of Koramangala are a worried lot. They fear that the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BMP) ongoing survey of all buildings in the locality will lead to a "neighbourhood war".

Following a direction from the Karnataka High Court, the BMP has set up a team of 20 engineers to conduct the survey. The engineers have started issuing notices to property owners asking them to furnish sanctioned building plans within three days of the receipt of notice.

This has caused panic among residents, who fear that the officials may harass them even if they have deviated slightly from the plan. Besides, most of them, who had built their houses before 1982 possess plans sanctioned by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and not by the BMP.

"The engineers are going by the plans sanctioned by the BMP. They are not bothered even if a house has been built as per the plan sanctioned by the BDA or any other agency. This will create problems even for those who have abided by the law," a resident of Koramangala 3rd Block said.

Another resident of the 2nd Main Road in Koramangala 1st Block said he had built a study room on the second floor recently. "As I was going in for a single room, I did not get an extension plan. Now, I will surely land in problem," he said.

"Over 90 per cent of the 6,200 properties in this area are likely to have deviated from the sanctioned plan, albeit slightly. It looks as though we are sitting on a volcano because we do not know how the authorities will deal with the violations," the resident said.

He said a particular person, who had instigated the people to complain about blatant violations and commercialisation in the area, had sold his property and gone to Australia.

According to sources in the BMP, the engineers have found that there are more than 300 buildings with blatant violations in Koramangala. These include buildings owned by the petitioners too.

Mayor R. Narayanaswamy told The Hindu that the survey, which began on September 13, is going on in full swing. "I will discuss the matter with Commissioner K. Jothiramalingam after his return from his U.S. trip," he added.


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