BENGALURU: “There are reasonable grounds to believe that immediately after the draft Common Zoning Regulations (CZR) are brought into force, various building plans will be hastily sanctioned under the fear that the high court may stay the draft at any point of time,” according to the petitioners.
The Karnataka High Court on Thursday restrained the Urban Development Department (UDD) authorities from finalising the draft notification.
The petition was filed by the Citizens Action Forum represented by V N Ramaswami, Malleswaram Swabhimana Initiative represented by its chairperson Rekha Chari and B M Kaval Residents Welfare Association represented by its chairperson Sneha Nandihal. They contended that the draft is illegal as it has not been prepared by the Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Committee constituted in accordance with the 74th amendment to the Constitution of India.
“The authorities have failed to apply their mind about the requirements of the city and have acted in a high-handed arbitrary fashion. The draft CZR, in effect, belittles the effort of citizens and has no regard for wastage of taxpayers’ money. Citizens have already engaged deeply with the authorities in the formulation of the Master Plan 2031 process, which is being done at a considerable cost. With the Master Plan 2031 close to finalisation and after spending crores of rupees and hours of time, solutions for Bengaluru need to be done on a holistic basis rather than adhoc and unscientific measures,” the petitioners claimed.
The petitioners contended that around 10,000 objections including 1,300 from Malleswaram alone were submitted to the authorities against the draft and they were not considered. Giving an example in support of their claims, the petitioners said: “The mixed land uses now proposed do not contemplate a cap in usage on a plot and permit usage of the entire plot for the non-residential use.
This will result in rampant commercialisation of residential areas, overcrowding and increased traffic on narrow streets, increased garbage and sewage, noise and air pollution, parking problems and safety concerns, especially for children, women and the elderly in residential areas and thereby affecting the quality of life of the residents of Bengaluru and is a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Mixed land use was permitted on roads with a width (existing or proposed) of about 9 mts (29.52 ft).”