BENGALURU: Ninety-four-year-old H S Anantha Narayana shudders to think what would happen if businesses and commercial establishments are allowed to come up in his quiet neighbourhood.
“About 36 years ago, we would go up to Basavanagudi to buy groceries, vegetables and other essentials. Jayanagar, which was a completely residential area then, has now become a commercial hub. The 10th A Main Road, where I reside, does not have any commercial establishments. But vehicles are parked on either side of the road. I cannot imagine what will happen if shops are allowed to come up on our road,’’ he says.
The draft of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (Approval of Plot) Rules, 2017, put out recently by the Urban Development Department, proposes to allow different types of commercial activities in residential areas depending on the width of the roads.
With the IT boom, the city, once known as a pensioner’s paradise, witnessed many old localities and residential areas turning into business hubs with houses being either demolished or renovated to allow for more commercial activity.
A retired deputy general manager of Indian Telecom Industry (ITI), Narayana constructed a house in Jayanagar and moved there. “There are so many hotels, commercial establishments and shops. People keep moving in the wee hours too. We cannot sleep,’’ he complains.
Harsha, a retired mechanical engineer and resident of 9th Main (32nd ‘C’ Cross) in Jayanagar, which is a 30-feet-wide road, opposes the idea of allowing commercial activities in residential areas. “There are many shops nearby. People who come to dine and shop, park their vehicles in the smaller lanes like ours. I have to fight with them, tell them not to park their vehicles. Sometimes, I cannot even take my car out of our garage,’’ he added.
Sawanth, who had come to his relative’s house on 34th Main in Jayanagar 4th Block, said commercial establishments should be restricted to main roads where there is proper parking facility. “Otherwise, we will end up parking in smaller lanes nearby,’’ he said.
Similar thoughts were echoed by citizens living in several other residential areas. Shankaranarayana from V V Puram pointed out that there are rules against the encroachment of footpaths. “Many vendors sell clothes, greens and other material on the footpath next to my house. We are senior citizen and these vendors are very intimidating. If this is the case with footpath vendors, allowing shops on our roads will be a nightmare for us,’’ he said.
Antony Devaraj, a resident of Chamarajpet 1st Main, said if commercial establishments are allowed in residential areas, movement of vehicles and encroachment of footpaths will increase. “Where can children play?’’ he questioned. “The sound of pollution and traffic will become worse. We will not have any peace of mind,’’ he said.
Madhukar M N, a resident of Binnypet Layout near Chandra Layout, said when they shifted there, there were just a few shops selling groceries and vegetables. “In just a span of eight years, many retail outlets, showrooms, supermarkets, hotels, pubs and petrol bunks have came up. The roads around Chandra Layout police station are a nightmare, especially during weekends. If commercial activities are allowed in residential layouts, it will become cancer,’’ he feared.
What the zoning regulations allow
R: Plotted residential developments, villas, row housing, apartments, service apartments, quarters, orphanages and old age homes.
C1: Stationery shops, newspaper agencies, milk booths, coffee/tea stalls, ATM kiosks, medical stores, fast food joints, clinics, power looms up to 2HP
C2: Hair dressers, tailors, gyms, old age homes, yoga centres, mobile shops, hardware stores, mutton/poultry stalls, printing press, photo studios, grocery stores, flour mills up to 5 HP along with C1.
C3: Education coaching centres, scanning centres and labs, recreational clubs, restaurants and hotels, corporate offices, banks, departmental stores, retail stores, gas retail outlets, powerlooms up to 10 HP, flour mills up to 10 MP along with C1 and C2.
I-1: Household industries
I-2: R&D labs, test centres, IT-BT companies, BPO activities along with I-1
P and SP1: Sub-offices of utilities, creches, nurseries
P and SP2: Police stations, post offices, hostels, primary schools, orphanages, nursing homes, hospitals, public libraries, traffic and transport related offices along with P and SP1.
P and SP 3: Dhobi ghats, hostels, stadiums, schools, places of worship, fire stations, auditoriums along with P and SP1, P and SP 2.
T1: Bus bays, auto stands, bus shelters, information kiosks, parking areas
T2: Transport offices, multi-level car parking, fuel filling stations and service stations, automobile spares and services