The Karnataka Public Works Department’s National Highways Division has issued orders to all urban and rural local governments not to allow the construction of buildings that a construction-free zone of 40 meters on either side of any national highway shall be maintained. In a letter dated September 7, 2021, an Assistant Executive Engineer brought to the attention of the Municipal Commissioner of the Udupi City Municipal Council a High Court order that confirmed the department’s position.
No building permits shall be given between the designated limits of two National Highways. If structures are allowed to be built within the construction-free zone, the High Court has ruled explicitly that action should be taken against the officials involved. When asked if structures on either side of National Highway 169A were more than 40 meters from the highway’s centerline.
The letter was written to ensure that, at the very least in the future, local governments do not issue building permits in the prohibited zone. The government’s position on the construction-free zone for national and state highways has been confirmed by the High Court on several occasions (40 m from the centerline of the highway).