Monday, November 26, 2007

BMP hits on new idea to enforce building byelaws

BMP hits on new idea to enforce building byelaws

Swathi Shivanand

It will help nail offenders who do not take Sakrama seriously

BBMP trying to create database of property using Geographic Information System

Assessment officials from contact points to keep vigil against violations

— Photo: K. Bhagya Prakash

S. Subramanya

BANGALORE: Buildings in the city will soon sport blue and red paper stickers with “due thanks” from the city corporation. In what is, perhaps, a first-of-its-kind move, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has hit on a new idea of “shaming” people into falling in line with the law.

“The palike will soon start issuing these stickers along with tax receipts. One set of stickers (blue) will state the person’s name and thank him for having paid ‘X’ amount as property tax. Another set will be for those who have violated building byelaws. Apart from naming the person, it will carry the amount of penalty levied on him,” BBMP Commissioner S. Subramanya told The Hindu on Saturday. It will also state whether the building is self-occupied, on rent or used for commercial purposes.

(Those penalised will have to cough up double the property tax, Dr. Subramanya told a press conference earlier in the day.)

To make the proposal viable, the palike should have a database of property in its limits, which it is attempting to create using the Geographic Information System (GIS). About 70 per cent of property in the city has been identified through this system. This database will be used to identify violators and penalise them.

Dr. Subramanya added that ensuring the stickers remain pasted will be the responsibility of the assessment official at the palike’s contact points. These contact points are BBMP sub-offices set up for every 4,000 households in the city.

The assessment official from these points has to keep an eye out for any building activity, violations, inspect the roads and drains in his jurisdiction.
Linked to Sakrama

The Government, in its amendment to the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act to bring about the Sakrama scheme, has not laid out a course of action for city corporations and town municipal councils if a violator does not seek the benefits of the regularisation scheme.

As of now, while there are threats of disconnection of water and power supply to buildings violating the byelaws, how they will be identified has remained unanswered. Under these circumstances, this move to name and shame violators could be seen as some action against those who do not take the Sakrama scheme seriously.

The scheme, in force till December 14, allows for violations to the order of 50 per cent in residential structures and 25 per cent in commercial structures to be regularised for a fee.


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