Fighting for the greater good
BANGALORE: It has been an ongoing battle for Ravindranath Guru, a Right To Information activist, to retain the residential character of 24th Cross, Banashankari 2nd Stage, where he lives.
Having successfully managed to stop the functioning of two party halls in a 60x40 plot in 2006, Mr. Guru is now preparing another round of activism to prevent the setting up of a commercial establishment in the area. He is also collecting information about similar violations in five other plots in the locality.
It was in 2004 that Mr. Guru began noticing the changes brought about by party halls when he returned to the city after retiring as a Director in the Ministry of Information Technology.
The party halls situated next to his house were causing a lot of nuisance.
“Functions were being held throughout the day and vehicles were being parked all along the road and the footpath,” he said.
Intent on saving the neighbourhood and its residents, Mr. Guru got down to work, getting the documents related to the plot. Using the Karnataka Right to Information Act, he procured the trade licence issued by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to the site owner.
He then applied for a copy of the original sanction plan. “The officials gave excuse after excuse and it was issued only when the then Joint Commissioner Sharat Chandra directed the officials to do so,” he said.
The sanction plan revealed that the owner of the plot had violated the building bylaws.
The owner had taken permission to build an office but built a commercial establishment without seeking permission to convert the land use from residential to commercial purposes. “Strangely, it was the BBMP that was renewing the trade licence,” Mr. Guru said.
He approached the High Court and ultimately forced the BBMP to cancel the trade licence in November 2006.
Subsequently, the plot was given to a private healthcare chain. Mr. Guru again intervened to get that closed in January. After the new
Comprehensive Development Plan Master Plan-2015, a petition was filed to start commercial activity in the plot. “I have opposed it as there is a building bylaw violation,” Mr. Guru said.
You can call him on 26713616 or email .................
The Hindu : Karnataka / Bangalore News : Fighting for the greater good
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