The Debate On Kerala Municipal Building Rule Amendments Continues
Local Self Government Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty is scheduled to convene a second meeting of stakeholders in February on the recently notified amendments to the Kerala Municipal Building Rules, 1999.
The meeting, a follow-up to the one held earlier this month, will discuss the suggestions put forward by the stakeholders and take a decision on the direction the amendments will take.
Builders’ associations and other stakeholders have pointed out that the Local Self-Government Minister had promised at a meeting held in April 2008 that the draft amendments to the 1999 rules would be discussed widely before they were notified.
According to sources in the Town Planning Department, there are several misunderstandings about the amendments as have been understood from the objections raised by the builders and others to the draft amendments.
For instance, the amendments are construed as making it mandatory for a person who wants to dig a well or build a compound wall in his land to get the written permission of the neighbours to carry out the work. However, this is not so, sources in the Town Planning Department say.
The amendments appear to be being subjected to several interpretations, they say pointing to the suggestions that came up during the first meeting.
Some of the points have been clarified at the meeting. The more serious objections have been raised with regard to the area to be provided by a builder for road and other facilities.
Sources say the provisions in the rules will ensure adequate road width to allow free flow of vehicles and people. This may end in shrinkage of the covered area.
However, sufficient space has to be provided for roads, considering the current traffic problems in the cities and their suburbs.
Sources say that provisions in the building rules of Kerala are much more lenient than the rules governing buildings elsewhere. In Bangalore, for instance, much wider roads are stipulated.
The sources say that safety and security of people accessing the buildings have been given the utmost importance. This will be the guiding principles of the amendments in the future.
They say the coming set of rules related to natural calamities will be more stringent. The Union government is in the process of finalising the draft of the rules and it is expected soon.
Gearing up for these rules, expected to be more rigorous than the Coastal Regulation Zone provisions, is a must for the future, they add. The coming meeting will address all the concerns of the building industry and other stakeholders, sources adds.