The growth and development of a city must be planned and regulated. Growth in every zone must thus be carefully looked after. Recently, there has been a change in the regulations regarding zoning in city spaces with the Common Zoning Rules.
There must always be a balance between the commercial and residential spaces in a city and the kind of activity that takes place in the residential places must be regulated. According to a recent change, even on streets that are lesser than 30 feet wide, there is a provision to have the coexistence of both residential and commercial spaces. These are known as mixed zones. There are also rules regarding what kind of activities can be conducted in these zones. Flour mills, power looms and garages can be opened on these streets. However, there is a prohibition on industries and activities involving heavy movement of vehicles in these areas as it may disturb the residents and this ruling is thus facing opposition from the residents. The previous ruling stated that no commercial activities would be allowed to take place on streets under 40 feet in width. Apartments and housing complexes were also subject to many rules that said that these building couldn’t be built in sites that were lesser than 500 square feet in dimension, and were on streets that were 60 feet wide. Currently, there is permission given to builders to have these buildings on smaller roads as well. One can only imagine how much havoc this is likely to cause. The citizens of the city say that the new ways of planning are likely to crowd the smaller streets of the city further and cause disturbance in the peaceful neighbourhoods.
The earlier ruling was passed by the High Court when enraged residents from various parts of the cities approached the Court. BBMP officials then sent out notices to all kinds of industrial and commercial spaces in these mixed zones to move their centres of operation within a stipulated time. Since the latest change, there has been a confusion regarding the same. The question on most people’s minds is whether the notices will be revoked and the new rules put into act.
Buildings in the city too, have been erected in a haphazard fashion. The rules applicable to these buildings seem to have been disregarded completely. Neither the builders nor the officials who allowed this to happen have faced any consequences. Activists and the public interested in this issue are also asking the government to take action against the officials involved. They are of the opinion that this kind of freedom to the officials is detrimental to the development of the city.
The careful planning of development is important for any city and only time will tell if the new zoning regulations will bring in this balance or will validate the citizens’ apprehensions and crowd the city spaces further.
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Written by Anagha Bharadwaj