With 1,357 notices issued and 51 establishments closed down in east zone alone, and that too only in CV Raman Nagar, Shantinagar constituencies, and to a lesser extent in Sarvagnanagar, traders operating in areas like Indiranagar claim that they are being unfairly targeted. In fact, apart from east zone, trades have been closed down only in four other zones: south, west, Dasarahalli and Mahadevpura. In Bommanahalli, no action seems to have been taken, with zero notices issued and shops sealed.
“Almost all notices issued over the past 2-3 months have been to establishments in Indiranagar and in Jogupalya (ward 89). Here, the traders are operating either in violation of zoning regulations, or without necessary trade licences,” said Dr Sanghamitra, medical officer of health, (CV Raman Nagar and Shantinagar).
Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara had also said that he would be taking “strong initiatives to curb the menace of commercialisation in residential areas”, and that the corporation would be verifying whether such establishments had been granted trade licences or not.Last week, residents had alleged that a few shops that had been closed down in Indiranagar restarted operations within a few hours. While this claim was refuted by the traders association, the BBMP seems to have taken it seriously and is now in the process of filing an FIR against one trader who did reopen his sealed establishment. “Our officers had sealed a wine shop in Hoysala Nagar (ward 80), but the owners reopened it. Since they did not respect our order, I have instructed my officers to file an FIR against them,” said Ashok, joint commissioner, east zone.
Citizens hope this drive will be more successful than the previous ones, which failed due to BBMP losing steam halfway. Two years ago, in a similar way, the BBMP had identified and issued closure notices to 3,658 commercial establishments doing business in residential areas. While going into an overdrive when it came to issuing notices, the Palike failed to follow up on the matter, with only 239 establishments having been closed as of June 2017.
Disillusioned with such complacency, I Change Indiranagar, a federation of resident welfare associations, approached the Lokayukta earlier this month to file a complaint, stating that “even after many pleas, petitions and three high court orders we did not see the enforcement of zoning regulations in Indiranagar”.