Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The city is witnessing a vertical growth

The city is witnessing a vertical growth

Sharath S. Srivatsa and Swathi Shivanand

BANGALORE: The increased demand on housing and the fallout of the information technology boom in Bangalore threw up a landscape of illegal layouts, arrival of the private developers and a more pronounced apartment culture.

Just when the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had become dormant in the late 1980s, the outskirts of the city witnessed formation of illegal layouts or the so-called revenue layouts, as the need for housing coupled with the ignorance on revenue matters encouraged the development of such layouts.

According to housing industry sources: “Though securing approval for layouts was not as stringent as it is today, layouts without requisite approvals and lacking basic amenities mushroomed with increasing demand from people.”

At least 10,000 sites in Bangalore are in revenue layouts, which have been either regularised or in the process of being regularised.
Illegal layouts

Tracing the growth of these semi-legal layouts, a study “Of Master Plans, Laws and Illegalities in an Era of Transition” by Alternative Law Forum, (ALF), a lawyers’ collective, states that since the 1980s the city’s peripheral areas have evolved as revenue layouts with minimal infrastructure and civic amenities and cater to middle income groups and small scale enterprises. The arrival of private developers in early 1990s also witnessed formation of private layouts and approximately about two lakh sites have been formed so far. Karnataka Land Developers Association General Secretary R.V. Someshwar says: “The process of developing another lakh site is in the pipeline. The industry grew without any support from the government.”

He said that land developers had taken the risk of investing and securing all the approvals before selling them to the public. Though the illegal revenue layouts had come down drastically now, they were still thriving, he added.

As the city was growing horizontally, the apartments provided residents an option to stay within the city, and a large number of the migrant population preferred to live in apartments.

One of the ways of meeting the increasing demand was through building apartments, says Balakrishna Hegde, the President of Karnataka Ownership Apartments Promoters Association.

According to a rough estimate, around 10 lakh dwelling units have been constructed in Bangalore so far, Mr. Hegde said. “The demand for apartment units is as high as ever with at least 1,50,000 units set for completion in the next three years,” Mr. Hegde added


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