Civic activists question legality of mobility plan

Bengaluru's civic activists question legality of mobility plan

In a statement, Citizens for Bengaluru’s Srinivas Alavilli said the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has been underreporting the number of people who sent suggestions and objections to the draft plan.

Civic activists on Saturday questioned the legality of the draft Common Mobility Plan (CMP) as its drafting did not involve ward and metropolitan planning committees as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporation rules.

In a statement, Citizens for Bengaluru’s Srinivas Alavilli said the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has been underreporting the number of people who sent suggestions and objections to the draft plan.

“We sent nearly 3,200 emails objecting to the CMP. The metro folks did not even open these mails. It is not right to say 475 emails have been received. It (the low number) doesn’t convey that thousands of Bengalureans wrote in before the deadline,” he said.

“We are looking into the issue,” BMRCL chief public relations officer B L Yashvant Chavan said, adding that no response will be ignored.

Alavilli also shared a petition by Nimisha Agarwal, signed by over 3,250 people who questioned the legality of the CMP. “It does not follow the due process described by the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act. Metro (BMRCL) is not the authorised agency to create a city-wide mobility masterplan,” the petition said.

The draft CMP includes the elevated corridor, which had drawn flack from various sections of the civic society. The petition stated that laying emphasis on such projects will only encourage private vehicles over public transport.

“Bengaluru does not need more projects that attract more vehicles and cut trees. Instead, investments and energy should be driven towards public transport for the next 10 years. The plan includes positive proposals around public transport and disincentivises private vehicles, but risks negate all these with the elevated corridor,” it said.

The state government evinced interest in the CMP and transit-oriented plan a year after the Centre made it mandatory for funding metro projects as per the new Metro Rail Policy. The draft CMP and transit-oriented plan were prepared by BMRCL and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport. The government is yet to notify another key policy, the Revised Master Plan, which has been stuck for more than a year.

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