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Adarsha Society at Mumbai, Why not Mantri Mall as well?

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Mantri Mall builder violated building by-laws’Mantri Mall builder violated building by-laws’

the builder should have left at least 10 per cent of the total land for gardens as per the terms and conditions. Besides, a 16-metre space should have been left in front of the building as per the sanctioned plan, but it has left merely 8-metres space.
The logic given for not leaving the space was that the builder has agreed to build a 60-ft wide road on the other side of the building, Nagaraj said.
 

Footpath maintenance

As per the original plan, the developer should have left 16 m space around.

“However, BBMP officials, in collusion with Mantri, reduced it to 8 m. The justification was that the developer would lay the 60-ft road,” Mr. Nagaraj said. They also reneged on the promise to maintain the footpaths around the mall.

On October 30, the Chief Engineer, West Zone, had recommended that the Occupancy Certificate issued to Mantri Developers in February be withdrawn as they had failed to act on preconditions.

The developer had not sought permission from the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and had not left 10 per cent of the property vacant as specified under the building bye-laws, for which the BBMP had levied a Rs. 34.82-crore fine. “Though the developer has not yet paid the fine, the plan was approved.”

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/110217/mantri-mall-builder-violated-building.html

http://www.hindu.com/2010/11/04/stories/2010110462820600.htm

When this very clear issue of  violation and causing major traffic problems,  why citizens should suffer and why Mantri Mall should allowed to coninue like this. 

When Adarsha Society Mumbai  OC was invokd with water & power supply cut off,  same yard stick should apply to the Mantri Mall.   If things are allowed like this,  day will come where Vidhana Soudha / Cubbon Park / Lalbagh to be shifted to help some real estate developer to put up his  project .

Is it so much needed to have such big Mall at Malleshwaram, without this we can have comfortable place. Let them put up even bigger Mall in biger area may be near BIAL AIrport or on Mysore  road, why  it has to be only at Malleshwaram congested area. 

Hope our BBMP & Pollution control board invokes the OC and set an example to other Builders.

 

 

Comments

silkboard's picture

Why only big guns?

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ITs a much larger mess. Why do we believe in going after only the big visible guys? Why not every other house that eats mandatory setback to build extra room, or car garage? Why not every other wedding hall that doesn't have required parking? Why not every other small business that eats onto footpaths?

Seeds of what you see with Mantri mall and Adarsha society are sown at these much smaller day to day violations. Why do we all take this approach of pointing out only the big names?

silkboard's picture

back to real world, where is Akrama sakrama?

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To climb down from the rhetoric, into the real world, what is the status of Akrama Sakrama bill right now? Governor returned it, and then we got into the horse-trading season, what happened to this long pending bill?

idontspam's picture

 What will a mall do with

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 What will a mall do with gardens? They are better off building that 60ft road & parking lot instead. The compromise is a good one IMO. If we needed a garden we should have made the whole place a garden. I feel reneging on maintaining the roads & sidewalks around the mall is criminal and should be punishable by law. There is absolutely no traffic management planned around that place.

Naveen's picture

Akrama Sakrama is illegal

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Agree with what SB says - almost every other house is in violation of bye-laws. The most visible violations are the ones that are being reported in newspapers & earn the ire of the public, whereas the mass of violators in every street remain unexposed & keep pointing fingers at these larger fish.

I don't agree with Akrama Sakrama either. As mentioned before, as long as buildings (including houses) remain in violation of bye-laws, they have to keep paying annual penalties. Regularization of violations should never ever be permitted. No court nor any legal body ever can accept them as legal if one-time penalty payments are paid. BBMP is trying to fool everybody with Akrama Sakrama because they want to raise some money.

Instead of Akrama Sakrama, BBMP should spend it's energies & resources on charting out all cases of violations for hiking up annual taxes through additional recurring penalties. This is the only logical solution - all those building owners in violation of bye-laws will eventually get tired of making exorbitant payments & will re-model or demolish construction over setbacks & fall in line.

Govt & the BBMP do not have the guts to go ahead with this because the majority of the public are themselves violators & will protest no end if property taxes are hiked up with penalties. We continue to remain a nation of people that keep getting around the law anytime & everytime!

srinidhi's picture

open space is needed..

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 And the bylaws are good and actually beneficial to the public..but this fact rarely dawns on us because we are inherently selfish..

Feels pathetic to see serviced appts coming up in Indiranagar with the parapet roof almost projecting into the next site with a relatively old house constructed according to the bylaws..where is the privacy of the residents..if thats about indiranagar..rest of blr is far worse..people are now building houses with the expectation of their blatant violations being regularized..

I often chuckle when there is talk of too  much corruption in the govt etc by public..afterall arent we all corrupt too..its just that the extent is relative and it doesnt actually matter..small or big, corruption aint good!

Again, in all this mayhem, there are very few who still try remain clean like the lotus in the pond of slush and I bow to them!

Coming to who needs to be punished..I would say everyone..big and small..big will actually set visible examples and its in a way good to start with them!

rs's picture

In my experience the main

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In my experience the main problem with Mantri Mall is not the space etc.- there is no need and no benefit to be obtained by widening the road or increasing the space. The problem is the management of traffic coming in and out and the auto-rickshaws parked haphazardly all over the place. Added to this is the numerous illegally parked cars on either side of the street.

They need to do the following things.

1. Clear  up the entrance and exit of the parking lot.

2. Provide an overhead or underground pedestrian crossing.

3. Ensure that autos are controlled and people are allowed to board autos only in the area between the entrance and exit. One major cause of confusion is tha the autos block a smooth exit from the mall.

4. Make the footpath on both sides of the road.

5. Block access to Sampige Road from all the small roads between Rajiv Gandhi Circle and 11th Main ( Mill corner road ). Cars sneaking in through here cause a lot of the jam.

No matter what, we cannot wish away such places. The best we can do is make sure that the traffic is managed well around it. Frankly, I dont think traffic is any worse than it used to be. It used to be pretty awful at the beginning of Sampige road anyway.

 

silkboard's picture

Most malls do better than most houses

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Not defending Mantri Mall, must clarify this first. But in general, except for when these malls come up on the main roads/corridors, which leads to local traffic problem (U turns, wrong side driving etc), most malls seem to have parking space, they spend some effort to make sure there is no illegal (free!) parking on roads near them. Setbacks seem to be there, on front as well as sides. Due to the greater visibility that they have, they seem to do better than small 3-5 floor angadi complexes that don't care for parking on pavements, on roads, want to move bus stops away from their locations, dump trash on the road, and needless to mention, ignore all setback norms.

Govt doesn't have the guts or ability to "educate" the public at large (we, the violators), so it too sits back to enjoy when public show their anger at Mantri mall or Carlton tower types.

Akarama Sakrama is only an encouragement that in 10-12 years time, another new law will make all violations legal with a "one time" fee. There MUST be recurring penalties for violation so that building owners are either forced to think of doing alterations, or are reminded of their disregard for city laws every year. The problems that these violations create are not "one time", but life long.

Disregard for bylaws (via public-BBMP collusion) is the SINGLE BIGGEST reason for congestion problems in Bangalore. Sadly, most of us do not realize that.

Outdated By-Laws

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Living close to Mantri Mall, i am able to related to the advantages it has and the disadvantages.

Firstly, Mantri Mall cannot be strictly compared to Adarsh Society. Mantri Mall's building violations are not very blatant unlike Adarsh Society.

It is important to point out first about our outdate BBMP by-laws. These building codes have not been updated since ages and are terribly out of sync with today's demands of urbanisation.

What ever we rant at - urbanisation is inevitable. Mantri Mall provides employment for thousands of people, property taxes, commercial taxes etc.

Yes, Mantri Mall has done mistakes - but not to the extent of Adarsh Society and that is true for Bengaluru over all. You can never find one single building in Bengaluru built 100% according to the by-laws.

The nature of deviations in Bengaluru are really quite less compared to Mumbai. Corruption in Bengaluru is quite less compared to Mumbai. So let's not compare ourselves to Mumbai.

What is needed here is a more dynamic set of building codes, which takes into cognisance the reality of urbanisation.

Increase FSI / FAR, height of the buildings, excluding common areas from FSI (so that developer is actually incentivised to leave space), excluding setback area in FSI calculation (so that developer is again incentivised to leave space), are all practically implementable suggestions.

If the constitution of India is the "patra" that governs our nation, the building codes is the constitution that would govern our city.

We need to work on a new constitution for the city soon.

Then our urban problems may reduce. And our youth will have jobs instead of joining the revolution in Dantewada.

 

n's picture

Instead of Akrama Sakrama,

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Instead of Akrama Sakrama, BBMP should spend it's energies & resources on charting out all cases of violations for hiking up annual taxes through additional recurring penalties. This is the only logical solution - all those building owners in violation of bye-laws will eventually get tired of making exorbitant payments & will re-model or demolish construction over setbacks & fall in line.

Agree completely with this. Homes are deemed old approx. after 30 years and when it is time for remodel, owners will remember all the extra fees and adhere better to the building laws. Unfortunately, it is difficult to enforce through self-assesment. Violators (majority of pop.) need to be sent notices after taxes have been paid and should be on the database. This is the only way to gradually phase out and eliminate the menace. Of course, enforcement is always the key. If Akrama Sakrama in its current form is allowed, people will pay the one-time (or reduced pay based on bribes) and forget it the next time. Like paying road tax life time as if roads constructed out of the tax money last for a life time.


abidpqa's picture

Negotiation

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The logic given for not leaving the space was that the builder has agreed to build a 60-ft wide road on the other side of the building, Nagaraj said.

That means the builder has negotiated with the BBMP. Looks like Plaza Bonus. But question is can we also do that? Can we do some violation and give alternate land to BBMP? Is it allowed in the byelaws?

idontspam's picture

 Can we do some violation and

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 Can we do some violation and give alternate land to BBMP?

Yes if you are building a public structure not a private one and the alternate comes from the same area also is of benefit to the public.

silkboard's picture

Allowing violations - legal ways

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This ..

Can we do some violation and give alternate land to BBMP?

... can be practiced in legal ways, like

  • Plant 10 trees in your backyard, and you get to eat 1 foot worth side setback
  • Build 2 extra floors than allowed, but in return do an extra basement which you give to the city for parking use.
  • Build 3 extra floors, in return give part of your road-facing land for wide pavement, or a nice bus stand

Think more. Above are like "good bribes" to the city, better than bribing BBMP engineers etc.

Sanjeev's picture

Violation of Mantri Mall & Push Cart Vendor should it be same???

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Any Violations as per  By-Laws shoulkd not be accepted.

In this case well know Builder who is suppose to set the Corporate Stadards for other Industries or players in the same business if they only start violating the lawys Blatantly and  getting approval from Govt  should not be accepted.

Push Cart Vendor makes traffic violation  by trying to sell on the road and blocking the Traffic.  But the persons   intention is to make leaving for two meals by selling on the road.  But Mantri is making Huge Profits and has managed to own one of the Bangalore METRO station at throw away price.   He may be giving employeement and paying megere taxes to BBMP, but this does not justify the violations and blocking Traffic on the road.   Can we justify the Mantri Mall and Vendor on the road  have made same mistake, both will pay the fine amount  and get away ???

Govt should set  example  with Mantri Mall and start the action from Bigger to smaller.  We had bad experience in Koramangala and now its Malleswaram, next will be at RajajiNagar Brigade

Yes violations exists in every part of city,   why should the Corporates violate rules when they are aware of the problems  public going to face.

BBMP & Govt also have hand in violations.  My experience and observations on Chandighar  City : This has stood very firm on the By-Lawys.  You will not find single violation on the road facing and Height of the Building,  even sufficient vechile parking are provided in every shopping complex in each sector.  But in case of Bnagalore even in new layouts,  parking facility has not been provided, its only on the road.

Corporates & By-Laws

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 Mr. Sanjeev,

If every building was built strictly according to by-laws, you would see the price of your apartment rise, cost of living rise and a general economic drag.

This is because supply of urban space is artificially restricted by FSI / FAR regulations.

As a live example - just compare the quality / price of an Apartment in HSR Layout in Bengaluru to that of an Apartment in Bandra, Mumbai.

You'd notice that the aparment in Bengaluru is way to cheap and better compared to the one in Mumbai.

This is because Bengaluru has a better FSI / FAR than Mumbai ( and hence better off than Mumbai).

But still, our by-laws are grossly inadequate. 

 

silkboard's picture

Sanjeev, no no!

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Hey hey, no no! Do not put words in my mouth here. Didn't talk of Push Cart vendors here. They are mobile, not fixed properties, they should be regulated under separate set of norms (hawkers, venodrs policy). When I say small guys, I am talking about thousands of road side shops or plazas that have been mushrooming in bangalore, more so in the suburbs.

Big ir small, does not matter. Mantri mall's footprint may be larger, but 10 60x40 plot buildings would have the same footprint, and I can tell you that for 1 mantri mall, there are 100s of small buildings that add up to create the parking, walking and traffic mess in our city.

Breakdown of civic administration in our city is visible in every suburb today.

@mcadambi, as you say, the bylaws have not kept pace with the growth. Instead of High FAR driven growth, we have sprawling Army and Govt campuses in the center of the city, and we are eating up lakes and suburbs in the peripheries to persist with house on a plot culture. This is a slightly separate topic, will leave for some other discussion.

The frustratig part about bylaws etc is that you and me just can't do anything. Can't dabble with dangerous people. I have my own bad experience from trying to complaint (at BBMP hotline) against a 4 floor building (no basement, no parking, no setback, eating up footpath) coming on right on a big corridor that I do not want to narrate here.

By-Laws & Mantri Developers

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@silkboard,

The BBMP usually has a committee of architects, civil engineers, urban planners before they adopt a new building code. 

We can make a presentation, i think with people like Dr A Ravindra, we may stand a decent chance.

Nevertheless, we need a building code, that "catalyses the growth of the city" and not just a code than can keep pace with the growth of the city.

If a good apartment can come cheaper than a 30 X 40 plot, most people will go for an apartment. Guessing with the success of mega projects like Mantri Greens, Brigade Gateway, that trend is already beginning.

I remember back sometime the HDK administration tried to get in an amendment not to allot 30 X 40 sites any more. They only wanted 60 X 40 and more 50 X 80 and the rest of the space be allowed for low cost group housing.

Naveen's picture

Densification will have it's own problems

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I think the two issues (FSI and congestion) are separate, though in Indian cities, particularly bangalore, they have effected one another so much that serious harm has been done to the city & it's image.

The city must first have sufficient means for people to move about easily if a high FSI is opted for that will result in much higher density. Unfortunately, bangalore ranks way too low to allow this, at least as of now, due to the myriad network of roads that is perhaps one of the most commute-unfriendly.

Increasing FSI without properly planning people's movement has already caused enough havoc for the city for decades now. Although Mumbai might claim to move millions of people to & fro, the quality of life there is perhaps far worse than in any other Indian city, primarily because of the larger FSI /densification with few open spaces & dirty surroundings. So, increasing FSI, whilst addressing some issues will bring with it newer problems & result in general degradation in quality of life.

Bye to Bye

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BTW, they are by-laws now bye-laws! :-) 

silkboard's picture

Naveen, they are linked + group housing

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@mcadambi, corrected, though I have seen bye-laws and bylaws used interchangeably.

@Naveen, FSI/FAR, Bylaws, congestion - we have touched upon 3 different things, but these can be made to connect via concepts like "group housing".

  1. Shared benefits - There are benefits of shared amenities, safety etc when you live in communities. Group housing works to lower the cost of service delivery for local governments. Plus, prevailing house on plot scheme only brings out the worst in us (Indians, as in selfish - sorry to say this, but thats how we are)
  2. Property Mobility - One type of mobility we rarely talk about and is also important is ease of buying / selling property. If your job moves to Kengeri, moving to that area is the last thing you would consider today, one reason is hassles of dealing with property transactions. Transactions are relatively more trustworthy and hasslefree in group housing setups.
  3. Mass transport friendly - Vertical group housing schemes can sustain mass transport investments. Refer to Govt's decision to raise FAR along Metro corrridors. Why not do so for all Big10 routes as well? Or near major mass transit hubs (Majestic, Yeswantpur, Biyappanahalli etc) ?
  4. Bylaws/codes are easier to implement for group housing - you live as packed as you want inside your group enclave, and play nice to rest of the city (via clearances, parking spots). Also, cost of safety measures (fire) is shared, so could be lower.
  5. Mixed use - fits better with walk to work, and mixed use development concept. Can even have all activities in one building (Ex: floors 1- 6, retail shops, 7 - 30 housing, 30-40 offices, such things exist in Hongkong).
  6. Packing people in smaller areas will leave more space free for parks and recreation. Refer - how many new sizable parks have we seen in last 12 years on city's periphery?

From what I can see of our city, high FAR based planned development in the center, or along mass transit corridors would be better than BDA planning more large layouts. On one side, netas and babus say they want Bangalore to be like Singapore or Hongkong (even better), but on the ground, you see large horizontal layouts planned. Tells you that we don't have a clear vision for developing the city.

murali772's picture

shape of things to come?

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Just a couple of weeks back, when "K Raheja" builders announced their new 25-storied housing complex in the heart of the already dense Koramangala (adjoining the existing Raheja Residency), and the members of the Koramangala community started expressing disquiet over the 'savekoramangala' Y-group, two members responded as below:

1st
I am sure that all the requisite clearances and permissions have been obtained already. On what grounds can people staying in the existing big blocks of apartments like Raheja residency and Floriana etc object?--at some time their very buildings would have been the subject of objections as they came up. I do not mean to be obstructionist or pessimistic on this issue but if they are within the law then what are we fighting against? In fact some city planners go to the extent of saying that the only way of making more land available for use is to go the high rise way--not some thing I personally like--but is perhaps the reality.

2nd
At the outset let me disclose that I have booked an apartment in the Raheja Vivarea complex. I have done this because it has become impossible to continue living on the 8th Main Road because of the noise, pollution and disturbance from the traffic. 8th Main, III Block, as you know, has become a highway for traffic passing through Koramanagala. At times, I receive curses from drivers because I hold them up to turn into my own gate. A month ago at 8.45 am a motor cyclist speaking on his mobile phone did not see me backing my car out of my gate, rammed into me and caused Rs 17,000 worth of damage to my car.

My wife and I want to continue living in Koramanagala. Raheja Vivarea presented a good option for us as it would be quiet, secure and self contained. It is sad to move out of the home where we have been living for the past 18 years, but we have no option.


I have also just spoken to Mr Rohit Panchal of Rahejas. He assures me that it is NOT 1000s of apartments. K Raheja are reputed builders who would have taken all approvals and sanctions. He tells me that he has interacted with members of the Koramangala III Block Welfare Association and has offered to support the Association.

Given the alround commercialisation, it appears to be a losing battle for those living in bungalows. The way things are headed, perhaps a few years down the line, the residents themselves may choose to knock down their bungalows and join together to promote high rises, gaining huge open spaces for recreation, as also the other benefits listed out by SB, in the bargain.  
 

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

High rises with 'open' spaces - only in theory

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K Raheja are reputed builders who would have taken all approvals and sanctions.

I have to disagree - the number of parking slots in Raheja residency were woefully inadequate (for 850+ apts, there were only some 500-odd provided). One can see cars docked all around the complex even now. No visitors parking space provided anywhere since there was no money in it. Parking slots were created and sold on setbacks as an after thought when it was realized that slots were insufficient, and parts of the promised peripheral jogging track had been removed to give way to parking slots, thus depriving all residents of "open, quiet & peaceful" surroundings.

residents themselves may choose to knock down their bungalows and join together to promote high rises....huge open spaces for recreation, as also the other benefits

This is only a matter of opinion, at best. Unfortunately in Indian cities, open areas do not continue to remain open since all sanctions and approvals are ad-hoc or arbitrary, based on money power that encourages buildings to come up haphazardly. If arrangements are made to provide mass transits and retain open spaces as planned originally, this can work well like in New york, Chicago or Hong kong where parks and green patches dot every neighbourhood, but we know how things pan out in India - Mumbai is but an extreme example of the principles that continue to be practiced in the country.

silkboard's picture

Yes, theory, but needs to be pushed and practised

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 Yes Naveen, money power, corruption etc make it tough to realize gains of any development scheme, let alone high FAR based development, or car based sprawling suburb scheme (which BDA has favored so far). But city development (given the ugly mess we are in) is too important an area to resign to this fate. Reason being - damage done would be irreversible. Someone needs to stop BDA from doing large layouts that promote bunglow-on-plots along side ejipura-styled narrow roads.

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