In a move to curb the construction of unauthorised buildings in the city, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has delegated the responsibility to the town planning department for taking action against those who violate approved building plans and construct houses without proper authorisation. Previously, ward engineers were assigned this task; however, it has now been shifted to officials of the town planning department.
Despite continuous directives from the High Court urging the BBMP to conduct a survey of illegal construction in the city, the problem persists. Due to the failure of ward engineers to fulfil their duties, the decision to transfer the responsibility to the town planning department was made.
Girish N, Additional Director (Town Planning) BBMP, emphasised the decision, stating, “Ward engineers were overwhelmed with tasks, preventing them from addressing illegal constructions in their jurisdiction. Therefore, we have decided to entrust this responsibility to the town planning wing.”
Explaining the rationale behind the decision, an official stated that the ward engineers had a multitude of responsibilities, including overseeing development works, addressing potholes, flood relief efforts, and various daily tasks.
“Their workload hindered their ability to focus on monitoring all construction within their jurisdiction. Therefore, the task of overseeing construction has been reassigned to the town planning department at the suggestion of the chief engineer and legal cell,” added the official.
The city currently faces an estimated 2,46,948 illegal constructions across eight zones, as per a survey conducted until September 2022. Notices were issued to these building owners, but no further action has been taken.
Officials acknowledge the difficulty of monitoring illegal construction across the vast expanse of the city, which covers approximately 800 square km.To address this challenge, a decision has been made to bolster the town planning department. Each zone will have one joint director, one deputy director, one assistant director, and three planners and gangmen.
Additionally, two assistant directors will be assigned for each assembly constituency in peripheral areas. Previously responsible for approving building plans, town planning department officials will now also monitor illegal construction. Their duties include visiting approved building plan locations to mark plinth lines and regularly monitoring construction activities.
In the event of illegal construction, notices must be issued, and plans for the demolition of unauthorised portions or buildings must be estimated.
Tenders will be called to remove these structures, with the demolition costs borne by the building owner.