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In Bengaluru, over 35,000 home owners sought huge relief as they can now avail occupancy certificate for the units.

In accordance with the latest order by Supreme Court that set aside a National Green Tribunal (NGT) diktat expanding buffer zones near lakes and stormwater drains (SWDs), the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad issued directives to sanction occupancy certificates for pending projects and sanction plans for new ones.

On 19th March, BBMP Commissioner directed all joint commissioners, town planning department, all chief engineers and head of the legal cell to stay on the earlier guidelines related to the buffer zone.

In the order, it is said that hereafter, while issuing plan sanction and permission to take up the construction work in the BBMP limits… the buffer zone guidelines issued under the zonal regulations… should be maintained and hence the requirement of citizens should be fulfilled as per the law.

In January 2019, Commissioner Prasad filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, stating that more than  35,054 buildings are under the scanner regarding buffer zones around lakes, drains and tanks.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike [BBMP] moved to the Supreme Court after NGT [National Green Tribunal] expanded the width of buffer zones around lakes from 30m to 75m in May 2016.

Similarly, the buffer zone for primary drains (raja kaluves) stays at 50m, for secondary (large) drains, it increased to 35m from 25m and for tertiary (roadside) drains, from 15m to 25m.

However, on 5th March, the sidelined the NGT order while hearing BBMP’s appeal.

BBMP Commissioner said that affidavit before the Supreme Court, plans were sanctioned and commencement certificates were issued for 256 projects before the NGT order on buffer zones was passed.

The number of flats in the projects increased to 35,054. However, the civic authority has to issue occupancy certificate even though the construction of buildings is completed.

As per the officials, 856.8Km is the length of both primary and secondary SWDs in the BBMP area.