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BDA forced to rethink on reducing green space in city

Bosky Khanna, Feb 2, 2017, Bengaluru, DHNS 3:06 IST

Citizens' outrage at public consultations while drafting master plan

 The pressure of encroachment in the existing green spaces like Turahalli, Banashankari, Hebbal, Whitefield and Bannerghatta Road was very high, the official added.  File Photo for representation.
The Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) proposal in the master plan 2031 to reduce green spaces in the city to make way for more urbanisation has not gone down well with Bengalureans.

Citizens’ outrage during public consultations forced the BDA to re-look at the city’s green belt while drafting the master plan. In some feedback forms, people questioned the government on what measures it has taken to save lakes from encroachment and to create new parks in the earmarked civic amenity sites.

One of the options the BDA had listed for developing the city for 2031 was to shift green spaces, except listed parks and playgrounds, to border areas of Bengaluru and create 100- to 150-acre sparks. A BDA town planning official told DH that people opposed a change in the land use pattern in the city.

“We were thinking of opening part of the 419 sq km of the existing agricultural and green zone for development and create another 400 acres of green space in 251 villages around the city. This was proposed because there is no space left for development in the central business district,” the official said.

The pressure of encroachment in the existing green spaces like Turahalli, Banashankari, Hebbal, Whitefield and Bannerghatta Road was very high, the official added.

“We had clarified that the existing parks, playgrounds and water bodies listed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike will not be touched,” the official said.

Anand M, a resident of Horamavu said that when civic agencies have not been able to implement their plan of compensating for every tree lost in the city for development, what was the guarantee that new parks will be created and will act as lung spaces to absorb carbon dioxide?

Shubham, a regular walker at Cubbon Park wondered: “The government gave away space in Cubbon Park, one of the prime lung spaces, for the Metro and urban structures. They have been unable to save lakes and create buffer zones as ordered by the National Green Tribunal. In the master plan, the BDA is talking of connecting lakes. But the government does not realise that they have permitted development on rajakulaves,” he said.

BDA Commissioner Rajkumar Khatri said that this was only the pre-draft which was presented to people. All their suggestions will be incorporated while preparing the draft master plan, he added.

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