Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Go ahead, park anywhere you please

Go ahead, park anywhere you please

The Hindu

publiceye The failure of the BBMP to ensure compliance of building bylaws related to parking and the creation of infrastructure has created a parking crisis in the city

BANGALORE: The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) issued an occupation certificate (a copy of which is with The Hindu ) for a five-storey building near Ashoka Pillar in Jayanagar on January 3. The certificate allows four "transit home rooms" on the ground floor.

The building today, however, has an outlet of a popular restaurant chain on the ground floor and its customers park the vehicles on the footpath and the road.

The BBMP building bylaws indicate that one car parking space for every 270 sq ft of floor area of restaurants should be allowed within the premises of the buildings. The floor area so measured includes hall, dining room, pantry and bar. Going by this, the building should have parking space for a few cars. This clear violation of building bylaws has resulted in the occupation of the entire footpath and much of the road by cars and two-wheelers belonging to customers, creating a public inconvenience and hazard.

This is only one of the many instances that show how the BBMP has turned a blind eye to the way even new buildings are adding to the parking woes of the city.

On the other hand there is no dearth of examples of violations of bylaws requiring that basement floors shall not be used for purposes other than parking and for locating machines used for service and utilities of buildings.

The erstwhile Standing Committee on Town Planning and Development, Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, took a serious view of the parking problems of the city way back in 1999 and passed a resolution that directed the authorities to ensure that restaurants must have adequate parking facilities. It also pointed out that the licences of the eateries and other commercial units started in basements were being renewed year after year though they should not have been allowed there in the first place. This had aggravated the problems relating to parking. Pointing out that the courts had passed strictures against the civic body time and again on this issue, it directed the authorities to stop renewal of licences of such businesses.

But the former Mayor P.R. Ramesh, who headed the Standing Committee, says that this resolution has not been implemented though the law requires that the Standing Committee resolutions are to be given effect within 15 days.

The erstwhile council of the BMP had passed another resolution in 2001 pointing out that businesses such as automobile repair units and tyre traders had occupied footpaths and roads aggravating the problem of parking. It directed the Commissioner to take action against such businesses under the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act Section 442.

This resolution too is gathering dust on the shelves of the BBMP.


The BBMP had launched drives to clear the basement encroachments several times in the past, but these half-hearted initiatives have clearly not been of help in solving the problem of parking. BBMP Joint Commissioner (Enforcement) N. Jayaram agrees.

"There are too many cases of bylaw violations," he said adding that notices were being issued to owners to clear basement encroachments. "These will be removed in two to three months," he said. With 1,000 vehicles hitting the city's roads every day, the harried Bangalorean will not accept empty promises for much longer.


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