RECENT DEMOLITION DRIVE BY THE ADMINISTRATION AND CREDAI’S VIEW ON THE SUBJECT
CREDAI is a body of responsible developers with 250 members and the membership is granted after signing a code of conduct at the time of induction. ALL members of Credai follow the rule of law strictly and action is taken against those members who do not follow the code of conduct. Being a Credai member is an assurance to the home buyer that he/she will be assured of a good product, title and timely delivery. We are a body who is sensitive to sustainable development keeping the environment and ecology in mind.
- b) Growth of Bangalore, urbanisation and role of private developers
In the last two decades the city of Bangalore has grown exponentially and has become the fastest growing city in the country contributing the highest GDP growth. All this could not have happened without the contribution of private developers and builders who have provided the city with international standard work spaces, homes, shopping centres, hospitality, educational infrastructure and hospitals. This has led to Bangalore being put on the global map and generated jobs for lakhs of our youngsters. The activity of the real estate industry provides jobs directly and indirectly to lakhs of people from different strata of society. It also contributes hugely to the state exchequer by way of VAT, stamp duty and property tax.(approximately 5500 crores per annum).This has enabled the state to be among the most affluent states. This has also attracted the biggest of international companies to make Bangalore their home bringing huge investments to the city and state. Bangalore has the distinction of having the largest MNC companies operating from here.
All this would have not been possible but for the hard work and dedication and risk taking ability of private developers working passionately against all odds even in indifferent markets at times. By creating the best in class IT parks/office spaces Bangalore has the distinction of the biggest absorption of office space and ranks only after New York and Tokyo.
- c) Developers targeted without verification
The media of late has been bombarding that the Developers have been spared and the demolitions are targeted only on the poor.
Further, certain sections of the society has been engaged in mudslinging the Developers with irresponsible statements even to the extent of saying that the Developers have obtained wrongful sanctions / permissions in connivance with the officers, which is totally unfounded. We would like to make it very clear that a plan sanction is not snatched from the hands of one officer overnight. Every plan sanction goes through at least 7 to 8 stages of verifications, vetting, inspections etc from officers from the lowest rung to the highest level and this process in most cases takes around 2 years or more. As such, when it goes through such stringent and lengthy process, how is it even possible to think of obtaining illegal sanctions. Therefore, those who make such allegations should have at least studied the entire process of plan sanction. Even names of some Developers were published widely without verifying the facts. Therefore the least that the Developers expect is some respect for the contribution made by them and certainly not onslaughts, name calling, blackmailing etc.
- d) Sanctity of Government sanctions / permissions lost.
The problem has compounded further due to BBMP disowning the permissions / sanctions granted by themselves due to which the general public has lost faith in the Government and the sanctity of Government stamp has been lost. It is important that the Government should own up the sanctions given by them. Once the sanction is given with intense scrutiny of over 2 to 3 years, as narrated above and after collecting hefty fees running into crores, it is highly disturbing, demotivating and demoralising that one fine day they declare that what they have sanctioned is illegal that too when the constructions are in full swing. The focus should be on long term revenue benefits created by the Developer community. Therefore, running down the Developers will run Bangalore down.
- e) Highly negative repercussions on “Brand Bangalore”
While legitimate demolitions are understandable, the confusion around the demolition has made a huge dent on the image of the “Brand Bangalore”. Because of the bad publicity, MNCs, Software companies and other big giants which have made Bangalore their commercial headquarters, second only to Seattle, are already jittery and are seriously looking at the neighbouring States such as Telengana and Andhra Pradesh who have successfully put in place consistent and long term policies. This is running completely counter productive to the huge promotional activities taken up by the Government under “Invest Karnataka”. To top it, both the Government and the Private promoters in these neighbouring States are taking advantage of the on-going confusion in Bangalore.
f) Master Plan CDP supersedes all old maps
The CDP plans drawn up by BDA every 10 years which is prepared after lengthy research and public debate clearly sets the land use ,bye laws ,FAR ,setbacks parking requirements etc and also demarcates existing and future roads and supersedes kaldhari/bandidhari and defines the drains in place of erstwhile nalas. The CDP has legislative sanction. In fact, the HIGH court of Karnataka has upheld that the BDA CDP supersedes all previous maps and sketches. Therefore giving cognisance to and pulling out ancient century old maps is only creating confusion and panic amongst the home buyers & general public and exposes the developers to unnecessary stress and blackmail. Hence a balanced view needs to be taken on this issue and we have to bring back some sanity.
g) CREDAI members DO NOT VIOLATE
For all the above reasons it will now be clearly understood that members of CREDAI are responsible and adhere to the rule of law and DO NOT indulge in breaking the law. Therefore CREDAI as a body is NOT against the demolition of ILLEGAL STRUCTURES but the poor and illiterate public who are totally ignorant about the title and legalities should have been given due warning and provided resettlement plans before embarking on an overnight demolition drive. In conclusion we say it is NOT about BIG or SMALL or RICH vs POOR BUT it is about RIGHT vs WRONG. CREDAI supports right and condemns wrong doing.
Finally we also offer a solution to this problem. Again as a responsible body we are willing to work with the Government to design a permanent drain network for the city with the help of experts both local and international and contribute thru our CSR funds to build a strong , sustainable and ecologically strong Bengaluru !
BENGALURU IS NOT JUST A CITY ….. FOR MOST OF US BENGALURU IS AN EMOTION ….a city we LOVE and want to be the best in the world !!
We are responsible !!
- Note on NGT Order dated May 6, 2016
The NGT order dated 06/05/2016 while deciding 2 specific cases of Developers has also issued certain general directions with respect to increase in distance of the buffer zone of lakes and rajakaluvas to the State Government and local authorities and that too with retrospective effect. The buffer for Primary, secondary and tertiary drains were fixed at 50 metres, 25 metres and 15 metres respectively measured from the centre of the drain as per the Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2015 brought out by the BDA in 2007 and that too in respect of drains newly identified under the RMP. It had had taken about 2 to 3 years of study to fix these scientific buffer zone. Such buffer zones in most other cities is much lower varying between as low as 9 metres to a maximum of 30 metres. The NGT besides moving the earlier reference point from the centre of the drain to the edge of the drain, the buffer for lakes also has been increased from 30 metres to 75 metres. It is reiterated that the scientifically fixed buffer after 2 to 3 years of study, deliberations and debate has been changed by a stroke of pen in a sweeping order by NGT. The ramifications of the NGT order would be catastrophic. Practically all buildings in Bangalore will have to be demolished.
In this regard, it is to be noted that only Legislature has to determine the land use, buffer etc and not the tribunal. Therefore, in our opinion the powers of the NGT, , cannot extend to amending buffer specified in master plans prepared by the State Legislature and the Tribunal seems to have usurped the powers of the Legislature.
Even the Supreme Court of India in the case of V.K. Naswa vs. Home Secretary, Union of India and Others has held that a Court can neither legislate, nor does it have the competency to issue directions to the legislature to enact the law in a particular manner.
Even the NGT has itself ruled in the matter of Gaur Green City Residents Welfare Association vs. The State of U.P & Ors that the changes in the master plan fall outside the jurisdiction of NGT.
We are afraid that consequences of this Order, otherwise, will have far reaching impact on Bangalore’s growth and its future.
 (2012) 2 SCC 542
 OA No. 33 of 2012 before the NGT, Principal Bench (New Delhi) dated August 21, 2013