Sunday, October 29, 2006

BMP survey to spot violation of buildings bylaws on

BMP survey to spot violation of buildings bylaws on
The Hindu

The aim is to curb violations at an early stage

# Officials say 90 p.c. of structures under construction have violated the bylaws
# Under the new law, no case of misuse of basement space meant for parking can be regularised

Bangalore: When the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) demolished four buildings in Koramangala for alleged violation of zoning regulations, there was widespread protest. Many citizens wanted to know what the civic body was doing while the buildings were being constructed.

Over the past two months, BMP has been trying to prove that buildings under construction are being watched too and a survey is on to spot violation of building bylaws. This relatively unobtrusive survey has also covered the misuse of basements meant for parking in new buildings.

This survey came soon after the State legislature passed the Karnataka Town and Country Planning and Laws Amendments Bill, dealing with "regularisation" of building bylaw violations. The aim was to curb violations at an early stage and to determine to what extent violations can be penalised and then regularised.

According to some civic officials, close to 90 per cent of structures under construction being surveyed are found to be violating one or more stipulations in the bylaws. The norms about Floor Space Index, the open space to be maintained around multi-block apartment complexes and high-rise commercial buildings are frequently violated.

In addition to ventilation, the space around buildings is also meant to facilitate the movement of fire engines and similar vehicles during an emergency. High-rise buildings are also expected to provide emergency exits and staircases wide enough to be used when lifts break down. The number of lifts and their capacity is also fixed according to the number of occupants, and certain categories of buildings need to go through inspection by the fire services, in addition to that by BMP engineers.

Violating the rules about use of basement space has been found to be common in both commercial areas and residential areas such as Malleswaram, Jayanagar and Shantinagar.

Under the laws, basement space other than for storage or stairs or lift machinery has to maintained for parking vehicles. Large-scale misuse of basements even for commercial use was found last year in some areas like St. Mark's Road, and the shops and godowns were removed and the owners fined.


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