Get back to drawing board: MGP on draft Master Plan

MUDA has published a draft Master Plan (revised) for Mysore Nanjangud Local Planning Area - 2031 (MPM) and invited comments from the public. Lot of people are very unhappy with the draft plan and one such is the Mysore Grahakra Parishat (MGP).

According to president of MGP Sreemathi Hariprasad when comments were invited by the members (Dr Bhamy V Shenoy, Maj Gen(Rtd.) S G Vombatkere, Prof  R Chandra Prakash, Dr H A B Parpia, H R Bapu Satyanarayana, Prof. B S Shankara, B J Rao, Nitin Ningaiah, Usha Subramanian), they were surprised at the depth and breadth of their criticism of the MPM.  

“We realised that the draft plan has major problems and cannot be repaired without undoing it (The fault lies not just with MUDA, but the system and  MCC, KSRTC, etc).  So MGP recommends that MUDA should get back to the drawing board with the implementing agencies and start all over again on a new MPM,” Hariprasad said in a press release.

It has no clear vision. It tries to be everything to everyone and ends up by being nothing. It has to choose between an old charm-heritage-tourist attraction future for Mysore or a development-like-Bangalore.

It seems to be based on several incorrect facts. Here are just a few examples. While the current production of solid waste is about 450 tons per day, the MPM assumes that it is only 330 tons per day. The air pollution levels in Mysore have fallen in the last 10 years. With the explosive increase in vehicle population, this is quite unlikely. Once again, according to MPM, Mysore's demand for water was 167 MLD in 2010 and the supply was 248 MLD. So we must have a huge surplus of water and the water crisis which the citizens of Mysore have been experiencing is just an illusion! If we had such a large surplus, where was the need to spend a huge amount  on Kabini project for additional drinking water? Such obviously incorrect figures strain the credibility of the MPM.

The MPM is a single scenario plan. It plans for a city of 20 lakh population in 2031. If it is noticed in the next 5-10 years that the population is growing faster, we will be in a fix. We can not continue wasting money on MPM since we know it will be inadequate for larger population.

During the last few years, the government has commissioned several studies related to planning for the city such as, low carbon city planning by Atkins, a UK consulting firm, GIS mapping to streamline traffic by a French agency, fifty year plan by KUWSD, a plan for solid waste management, preserving heritage sites, etc. It is surprising that the Master Plan has not made use of these earlier studies. Why spend enormous amounts on studies if it find no place in city planning?

To obtain massive aid under the JNNURM project, Mysore city has promised to develop the city in a planned manner. It has developed a Comprehensive Development Plan and it has committed to follow this. The JNNURM CDP also plans for the year 2031. There is no reference to JNNURM CDP in the MPM. Will the city’s development follow CDP or MPM?

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