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The RMP 2015 PIL is now over

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Urban Development

long post :

Avoid if you are not really interested in PILs and masterplans and sorry if last bit sounds like acknowldgement of an oscar award  winner



The RMP 2015 PIL is now over


Today the high court disposed of this PIl which has been around from around 2007 filed by Citizen Action Forum (CAF), and a few others.

Our counsel Mr .Aditya Sondhi has been spearheading our efforts, supported superbly by his associate Ms Nidhishree .At the outset, I would like to sincerely thank the two of them for having taken this public cause so ably and not treated it as a commercial transaction.

A quick recap:

There were essentially 3 dimensions to this PIL.

a)Process, participation and jurisdiction issues:

The questionable process followed in preparing the masterplan including questions of BDA’s jurisdiction in preparing a masterplan. (We believed that the BMRDA was the principal planning authority and that the consultation process was faulty)

A lot of these issues were rendered irrelevant with the current direction towards Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) as the planning body. We therefore did not push these issues at the final stages.

b)The green belt /protected area issues

The group’s experience over the last few years has been that this is an extremely complex issue and better handled on specific, case by case basis. We have taken up such specific issues, like the Belandur Lake and wetland area issues as separate PILs.

We took a call that was the way to go and did not expect an outcome through this PIL and therefore did not pursue this.


c) The commercialisation of residential area issues

This has remained our principal focus and the mandate from the larger group and all efforts were focused on this.

The specific issue we were fighting, was that the RMP 2015 through its rules and zoning encouraged by law, commercialisation of neighbourhoods under a confused and faulty interpretation of the concept of “Mixed land use”.

It came to such an extent that the rules allowed an IT outfit to exist in every street in Bangalore.

We had received an interim order in January 2012 , to the effect that “there would be no fresh commercial sanction in any area which was deemed residential as per the 1995 CDP.This was in a way an extreme order but brought about by the non-cooperation and delay tactics of BDA and Government of Karnataka  in this PIL.

Today’s closure has come about by

--The pressure on the system by this interim order

--Independent committee set up to review the RMP (The Ravindra committee) .Our MP Mr Rajeev Chandrasekhar had a big role in forcing the Government to look at the RMP afresh, as far as residential areas are concerned.

--Offline discussions in the last couple of months with BDA aided by intervention from our MLA Mr.Ramalinge Reddy.


The final disposal


BDA through an affidavit declared its intention to modify the RMP as follows.


---In main and mixed residential areas in Ring 1(core city areas) and Ring 2 (suburbs like Koramangala, Indranagar, Malleswaram etc.

      No fresh commercial activities whatsoever (not even a new pan shop!) for roads of width 40ft and less.

      For roads above 40fT up to, 20% of built up area or 50 sq. mtr (whichever is less) of ancillary use allowed. However the ancillary use is now a much reduced list of just 15 or so activities (like a barber shop, small store etc. Will distribute this later)

---In main and mixed residential areas In Ring 3(areas like Whitefield, horamavu, yelahanka etc.). All of above apply with the following addition. 

     Ancillary use may be permitted as main use if plot size is more than 1000 sg mtrs, having frontage of 10 mtrs or more and if road widths is more than 60Ft.


(Seems a big fuss about nothing, but for those in the know these are dynamite changes)


These provisions need to be notified by GOK and according to them it will take 3 months. Till then the current interim orders of the “broad-based no commercial activities “apply.


Please note:


The BDA/GOK notifications will not cover commercial axes and mutation corridors within residential areas. On commercial axes we believe it needs to exist (and not much can be done on these streets anyway).On mutation corridors there are some small lengths that can still be saved and we have to take that up separately. Again not much can be done to salvage these corridors.   However as mentioned above until the new regulations are notified   , no fresh commercial sanctions can be given in these roads. 


A couple of mulling points


--The PIL did not cover or attempt to cover “illegal commercialisation”, only the new set of laws that allowed rampant commercialisation.BBMP continues to turn a blind eye to such illegal activities and then the GOK tries to bring in a regularisation akrama sakrama bill. This is a separate fight, one that needs to be taken up. Perhaps the courts are now sensitised to the commercialisation issue


---The Group knew that this was a rather long and perhaps ambitious fight , but the long term sights was on the next masterplan .This is now in process ..The masterplan 2031.

We think the game plan has been set and laid out in this PIL, which will help us in the coming planning cycle.


And oh yes, in these last few months we have become good friends with the town planning department of BDA (there are actually some good people there. Mr .Rangesh the current Town Planning Member knows his subject and has good thoughts and is someone we can work comfortably with)



A last mention of the group involved in this.

All those who signed on the original petition, my colleagues in CAF committee, The Indranagar group, The Malleswaram group (Especially Mr Ramaswami and Mr Sirur) the Namma Bengaluru group (NBF...Especially Ms Mahalakshmi, Anand, Suresh,),

Urban experts at large. Mr Ravichander, Mr Ashwin Mahesh, Mr CN Kumar, Mr Naresh Venkatraman

The original Koramangala group who worked on the draft masterplan feedback..Sheela, Manvel, the Pintos. Quite a few other actually. Forgotten. Sorry, it was 4 years ago.

 And of course the core group from Koramangala. Major Pramod Kapur, Doc Radhakrishan, Vishwantah Kashyap, Nitin Shesadari,,Muraldhar rao


And all those I have missed out inadvertently.

And I am sure I have missed out on some details, call/ mail for clarifications


Cheers..Phew…need to find other things to do now. That’s the masterplan 2031


Vijayan Menon









murali772's picture


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The Group knew that this was a rather long and perhaps ambitious fight, but the long term sights was on the next masterplan. This is now in process ..The masterplan 2031. We think the game plan has been set and laid out in this PIL, which will help us in the coming planning cycle.

Perhaps this is the biggest take-away from the whole exercise.

And, hat's off to you Vijayan for pursuing this battle. Hopefully, the message has got conveyed to the government johnnies that they cannot go about matters, having huge impact on the liveability in the city, in arbitrary ways any longer.

Muralidhar Rao
kbsyed61's picture

Kudos Vijayan,

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Super. Really great to hear about the outcome of the PIL and the 4 long years of persistent battle. What matters now is the outcome.

You have rightly said. There are good people even in BDA, BBMP etc who really care about their work, society and environment in which they live & breath. If you ask me, majority people are good hearted people. All you need is give them some motivation and encouragement. They are just buried under few bad apple influence.

Anyway, congratulations to you and all those who worked so hard.




pathykv's picture


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A big thanks to all of the activists from all prajaas.


apsfriends's picture

No improvement on the ground

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Hello Vijayan Sir,  At the outset congrats for the closure of the PIL and for your relentless fight.However we see no change on the ground as several hotels/eateries are coming up in residential areas (the latest being Vada Pav in EAT Street, Basavanagudi). What should the residents do for hotels still operarting in the area which were sanctioned after Jan 2012.  We would appreciate what steps the residents to take against these. Await your feedback.

vmenon's picture

hi apsfriends,   At one

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hi apsfriends,

At one level it is doubtful that such vada pav places have a sanction (building or trade licence).
In that sense the high court order does not cover such cases.The PIl only changed the law/rules  as existed with the RMP 2015 so that BMPO cannot give sanctions as  per court order.Sanctions also include trade licence , which is renewable every year .
So if a sanction is given after court orders , then it is  clear contempt, and needs to be followed up ( with legal threats )preferably to the cmmr as a first pass.
If the business is going on without any sanction at all, as  in many many cases, there are enough provisions under existing laws, but such cases are ironically more difficult to fight.
ie if a sanction has been given wrongly, then its easier, but if no sanction at all was given , its more complex!!.
But the real method is to have an active RWA/local association which will take up such cases in earnest.  
It is not a single persons fight.
call sometime we can talk.
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