BENGALURU: Despite several protests by the Indiranagar residents against illegal commercialisation of residential areas, there seems to be no response from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) authorities.
The residents maintain that the burgeoning number of pubs and bars have been a source of significant nuisance related to parking, pollution, garbage, drugs, crime, prostitution and anti-social activities.
In fact, this is true for many other residential localities like Koramangala, HSR Layout and Jayanagar.
Sneha Nandihal, a resident of Indiranagar and part of IchangeIndiranagar, points out, “We protested for three weekends but there has been no assurance from the BBMP’s side. We are basically angry with the inaction by the authorities in curbing the number of commercial establishment that are coming up in residential areas and bylanes. There are people who are having sleepless nights.
“Secondly, we are astonished by the way rooftop restaurants and pubs are allowed to function. Rooftops are supposed to be empty so that during emergencies like a fire, people can be rescued from the top. In fact, when we brought up this issue with the BBMP earlier, they told us that they will ask these establishments to keep the music low. But is this a solution?” she asked.
BBMP Commissioner Manjunath Prasad said, “In residential areas where we have found owners running commercial establishment in violation of the Urban Development Department notification, Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, the revised master plan and High Court order, we have sent them notices.
Some of them have closed down after the notice while some have replied to us stating that the businesses were started in the locality even before the amendment came into effect or the High Court order. A few of them are yet to reply to the notices. We are looking into the replies and we will soon pass adjudication orders. We are taking strict action wherever we observe zoning violations.”
Another shocking aspect is there are 63 bar shops being operated in just three lanes of Indiranagar. When a few residents went to BDA to inquire about these shops, they did not find any documents of their existence. They also approached BBMP to inquire about the trade licences given to them, but BBMP has not reverted to them.
Karim Khan, a software engineer, points out, “I do not believe in BBMP’s claim that they are taking action against these commercial establishments. It is mental harassment for residents. We often get into quarrels with people for haphazard parking and so on.”