The BBMP is yet again in the news for all the wrong reasons as it failed to close the commercial establishments,pubs, bars mushrooming in residential areas. Earlier when Bengaluru residents has petitioned in court as BBMP gave trade licence to pubs and bars to operate in residential areas. BBMP Commissioner has issued a notification to owners shut the shops failing which the civic body will be forced to close these places. But it's been five months since the notification, still, nothing has happened.

 

According to Karnataka Municipal Corporation rules, there should not be any commercial activity in residential areas but pubs and bars are mushrooming in Bengaluru's major residential areas like Banaswadi, Indiranagar and HSR Layout, due to BBMP's apathy. 

 

Recently, residents held a protest demanding action from the BBMP to shut down the pubs and bars that have come up in residential areas of Indiranagar. Still the BBMP has not made any efforts to help the residents.

 

According to Parveen Sundaram, a resident of Indiranagar, the BBMP had issued a notification on December 6, asking the owners of commercial establishments in residential areas to shut down. The BBMP has the authority to raid the places and close down such establishments if they continue to operate but till date no action has been initiated.

 

"As per zonal regulations, there should be no commercial activity in an area having roads which are only 40 feet wide. However, there are reasonable relaxations allowing ancillary shops to come up between roads measuring 40 feet and 60 feet. But here at Indiranagar, these regulations have been clearly violated," he said.

 

Vijayan Menon, Koramangala resident who had filed a petition with regard to the commercial activity in residential areas for which BBMP'S health department, trade licence issuing authority is responsible, got the ruling in the favour of the residents. However, there has been no action from the BBMP to check these activities.

 

"There are cases of sanctions given illegally and also cases of the authorities ignoring to check the violation permit and allowing the establishment to operate. Now we are contemplating to approach the Lokayukta to expose this unholy nexus between municipal authorities and officials who are responsible for commercialisation of residential areas," another resident said. 

 

In Indiranagar, over 50 pubs, bars and restaurants have come up  in less than five years. These places operate till late night and play loud music. "Weekends are like hell. Noise pollution, traffic, frequent power cuts and sewage blockage have become common. This apart, the safety of women, elderly and children is at stake. The layout was designed for residents. Since the area has witnessed rapid commercial activity, all these problems are increasing by the day,” said a senior citizen who lives on 12th main, Indiranagar.

 

Namma Bengaluru Foundation, which is championing the cause of citizens who are suffering due to commercial activity in residential areas, is up in arms against the BBMP which allowed this danger to happen

 

"Now, Bengaluru city has little regard for any form of planning and governance. The fall-out of this rapid growth is witnessed most acutely in residential areas of the city. Civic woes are plenty.  Indiranagar was once a pensioner’s paradise, and now we are desperately trying to restore some order into our personal lives, thanks to the illegal and reckless commercialisation of our residential areas,"  said Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bangaluru Foundation.