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September 14, 2008

A nice party, stupidity during apartment purchase

Filed under: bangalore, India, social change — neosurya @ 09:28

I went to Sudhir and Arathi’s place last night. Met with JD (Jaideep), Ilango, his wife Jeeva and had a very nice time. I bought a brand of vodka called Shark tooth from the Total mall. Very good quality and 750 ml at approximately Rs. 350 is pretty reasonable. Slept at Sudhir’s place for the night and left for Vijaya and Harish’s house at about 10:30 AM.

Today, Vijaya called me home for lunch. I took bus 331 from HAL to BTM, got down at Jayadeva hospital and took a rick to get to their house from there. It was an 11 rupee ticket to get to Jayadeva hospital from HAL. The rick from Jayadeva/Shopper stop to IIM incidentally was 20 rupees. From Vijaya’s house (IIM) to Shoppers stop it was 5 rupees. In an auto, each trip seems to be four times as much, or even more than that.

At around 3:30PM, Harsha picked me up from Shoppers Stop and we went for the AID meeting at Guru Moorthy’s house. The meeting went very well. Later in the night, I and Harsha left for dinner and then went to a friends’ house. We had planned to meet Dwiji’s father, and discuss urban building violations. Talking to him showed how deep the rabbit hole goes, and how one mans fight can very quickly turn into a wall that seems unsurpassable. People were rather stupid when it comes to apartment purchases. Senior Guru told us how people would buy flats without checking proper documentation and get into trouble. He also indicated how landlords are penny wise and pound foolish. For example his next door neighbor who is filthy rich, converted a residential property into a commercial zone. After getting commercial property conversion, he extended his building beyond the approved plan. When other residents complained to officials about the flouted building rules, he first reacted callously. The Govt. finally caught up with the act and ordered it to be demolished, and the rich guy is now holding the feet of other residents. There were many other cases he talked about where the ending was not very pretty. He suggested that I collaborate with IofC-Bangalore that is interested in these issues.

One part of me says that if people wish to flout Govt. rules, there should be a method of letting them do it. In fact, if commercial establishments were totally disallowed in residential areas, one would not have the local grocer, or any other neighborhood stores. These establishments which are often within walking distance and a great convenience in India. There should also be a way by which illegal constructions would be disallowed from participating in any Govt support, or would need to pay a very high premium to avail of such prices. Govt. could also sponsor a system similar to the policies that Income Tax dept. uses to let people convert black money to white; for example illegal constructions can be regularized by paying 150% of the property value as maintenance charges per annum. Their water etc could also be more expensive.

In any case, an aspect that Indians ignore is that when we become corrupt for short term gains, the problem gets back to us very seriously. I realize that it will be very difficult for me to operate in an urban scenario where there is increased apathy of the law. Corruption exists elsewhere too, but in rural areas it is possible to live clean. Apathy towards law seems comparatively lesser in rural settings, where people are more relaxed. Maybe it is a better setting for me, I do not know as yet.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hi Surya !
    Just saw your blog, and thought of commenting on the commercial activity and shops in residential areas. According to the earlier (and the current) city planning documents, civic amenities in residential buildings are permitted. In the current form, the permitted uses in residential buildings would encompass groceries, barber shops, provision stores, banks, etc. as long as they occupy less than 20 sq. mtrs. (~215 sq. ft.)

    The details of what are permissible in residential, commercial and other zones can be found on pp53 of http://www.bmponline.org/jdtp/blaw.pdf
    Its fairly easy reading, do check it out …

    Comment by Dwiji Guru — November 9, 2008 @ 21:42


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