Illegal shops in Bengaluru’s residential areas to go

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BENGALURU: Finally, there is hope and reprieve for inhabitants of residential areas from busy commercial activities in their midst. They can look forward to easy pedestrian movement, unaffected by parking and encroachments on footpaths, as the civic body has finally launched an intense drive to remove them.

BBMP on Wednesday came down heavily on commercial establishments in residential areas and shops in basements. More than 1,000 notices have been issued on shops operating in basements, and commercial establishments along roads less than 40ft wide will be shut with immediate effect.

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Following Deputy Chief Minister Dr. G Parameshwara’s instructions on Tuesday to clear footpath parking and encroachments across city roads, BBMP started its drive against shops operating in basements and commercial establishments in residential areas.

BBMP has asked all additional commissioners, special commissioners, joint commissioners, and chief engineers to verify and list out such operations. On Wednesday, BBMP officials from West Zone conducted raids against illegal commercial establishments operating in residential areas without trade licenses (TLs) from the BBMP. On the first day of the drive, BBMP shut down six commercial establishments in Sadashivnagar — Design Ventures, Innovative Teleservices, Lohia Corp Ltd, Brain Gym and two other businesses which were found operating without TLs.

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Exemptions were made only for those shops operating in the corner parcel of land at the intersection of 40ft and 60ft roads in the city.BBMP had issued TLs to commercial establishments located on roads below 40ft wide seven years ago, and no provision was made after that. Commercial establishments in these areas were not issued TLs in recent years, and have been operating illegally.

 

Meanwhile, BBMP officials have been asked to identify commercial establishments which have procured TLs, to issue notice soon. Manoj Kumar Meena, Special Commissioner, Projects, BBMP, told TNIE, “We have started a drive against commercial establishments in residential areas and no exemption can be given. We’ve been given a deadline to shut these establishments by February. There have been many complaints by Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs). We will especially conduct raids in areas like Indiranagar and Koramangala, which are full of these issues, and by February-end the entire city will be covered,” he said.

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Clearing pavements, basements

BBMP also started a drive against footpath encroachments by basement shops in the city. On Wednesday, BBMP issued more than 1,000 notices to basement establishments in all eight BBMP zones. Meena said, “The deputy chief minister clearly ordered us to take action against basement shops in Bengaluru. Basements are meant purely for parking purpose, and no trade licenses have been issued for any shops to operate in basements. Thus, all basement shops will be considered unauthorized and cleared soon,” he said.

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