Will zoning rules be revised?

Almost as if in response to rising Bangaloreans’ concern against the BBMP and BDA’s permissions for commercial buildings in residential areas and large format apartments on narrow roads, a zoning review committee of the state government had acted last month.

On Oct 15th, the committee, headed by former chief secretary and ABIDe member Dr A Ravindra sent to the government a major set of revisions to the CDP’s zoning rules.

If the government accepts it, it will become harder for the most blatant of illegal buildings to crop up around the city, and easier for citizens to monitor. The redrafted rules also bring down FAR (floor area ratio) allowed for builders to force a market for TDR (transfer of development rights) and also restrict TDR to major roads. See our report on this here.

However, the real question is this: is this ‘reformist’ re-draft going to bite the dust too?

Readers may remember that a group led by A Ravindra architected the ABIDe task force’s draft legislation for city government restructuring and decentralisation. That draft law — which democratises the sphere of local power in Bengaluru including major changes to how Bengaluru’s zoning rules will be developed and approved — has also been sitting unwanted in the cabinet.

But the central challenge has always been and remains, this: Reforms cannot just be drafted and recommended as documents. Bengaluru’s politicians must cough up whatever it will take to bring them into force.

That, they do not seem to want to.


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