BBMP set to draw norms for PGs in Bengaluru over commercialisation concerns
BBMP aims to regulate over 20,000 PG accommodations in Bengaluru due to grievances of commercialization and lack of oversight. Concerns include overcrowding, high rents, unhygienic conditions, and encroachment. The proposed regulations aim to ensure safety, health standards, and controlled occupancy while acknowledging PGs' role in providing affordable housing.
The number of Paying Guest (PG) accommodations in Bengaluru has surged past 20,000, prompting the Big Bengaluru Mahanagara Palika (BBMP) to establish regulations for their operation. In response to grievances filed by numerous housing welfare groups and civic bodies, BBMP authorities have taken the initiative to formulate guidelines.
Concerns have been raised regarding the transformation of these PGs into commercial complexes. Until now, there has been an absence of regulations governing these accommodations, leaving them unregulated by any government agency. As a result, several PGs have been converted into commercial spaces, primarily housing students and young working professionals.
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However, there are reports of several PGs in Bengaluru running the business without registering themselves. An official from BBMP, speaking to a news daily highlighted issues such as overcrowding in certain PGs and the exorbitant rents being charged to residents.
BBMP Chief Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath acknowledged the lack of existing guidelines to oversee PGs and stated the organization's intent to introduce regulations. These rules would encompass restrictions on the number of individuals permitted in each room, the provision of essential facilities, including washrooms and toilets, and ensuring safety and health standards.
Complaints lodged with the BBMP have cited instances of encroachment and unhygienic conditions in certain PG accommodations. Residents reported foul odours emanating from neighbouring PGs, attributing them to unsanitary shared toilets.
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The Bengaluru PG Owners Association revealed that the city hosts over 20,000 PGs, catering to more than 17 lakh professionals and students. Association president Arun Kumar highlighted the ongoing oversight by various agencies in monitoring PG operations. He emphasized the pivotal role of PGs in providing affordable accommodation for working professionals and students amidst soaring rents in Bengaluru.
Additionally, concerns were raised about PGs situated in the city's outskirts operating from unaccounted buildings. Some PGs reportedly pay residential utility rates for water and electricity consumption without officially declaring themselves as commercial entities, according to a BBMP official.