Bengaluru: The Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), which fought against commercialisation of residential areas, has welcomed Deputy Chief Minister Dr G. Parameshwar’s directions to the BBMP to issue closure notices to illegal commercial establishments across Bengaluru and to cancel trade licences to them.
NBF Director Suresh N.R. said that the BBMP should realise that commercial establishments in residential areas are the worst offenders, creating law and order problems, putting undue pressure on power and drinking water supplies, generating excess garbage and triggering noise pollution, often leading to health hazards.
The BBMP and state government should take action against building owners who violate the KMC Act and contribute to traffic and parking issues by illegally using basements for commercial activities, he said.
Mr Nitin Seshadri, a citizen activist and resident of Koramangala, said that the Revised Master Plan 2015 amended by a gazette notification by the state government in February 2015 contains vital provisions that seek to preserve orderly zoning in Bengaluru and protect the rights of residents to live in peace and tranquillity. No commercial usage is permitted in areas zoned as residential where the road widths are 40 ft and less. In residential roads above 40 ft width, a limited set of commercial ancillary usages are permitted. These include petty shops, photocopying outlets, professional offices for doctors and lawyers, ATMs etc. These ancillary usages are allowed, provided they do not use more than 50 sq metre or 20% of the constructed area of the building whichever is less, he said.
In all residential areas, there are also a number of roads designated as commercial axis, commercial zones or mutation corridors. While the rules in respect of each of these areas are slightly different, each of these allow a whole host of commercial establishments to operate freely. There can be no valid contention that there is insufficient space to meet the commercial needs of residents, he said.
“The BBMP needs to enforce the law in respect of RMP 2015 without fear or favour, swiftly, without succumbing to pressure from vested interests. Enforcing the law is not a multiple-choice test with various options. I call upon the BBMP to enforce the zoning regulations set out in RMP 2015 strictly and close down illegal commercial establishments in residential areas forthwith,” he said.