'Residents' associations advise caution on recommendations for IT policy

'Residents' associations advise caution on recommendations for IT policy

'Residents' associations advise caution on recommendations for IT policy

 With the State government set to unveil its new Information Technology Policy on October 22, a group of Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) has urged the government to exercise caution over some of the recommendations of Karnataka Information and Communication Technology Group-2020 (KICTG-2020).

Under the banner of Namma Bengaluru Foundation, the RWAs have written to IT Minister S R Patil calling for transparency and involvement of citizens in formulating policies having direct bearing on them. What has worried them is that KICTG-2020 recommendations may lead to extreme vertical growth of Bangalore by increasing Floor Space Index (FSI) or Floor Area Ratio (FAR).

What it means

“Increasing FSI means there is increase in density of people, extra pressure on infrastructure that now has to accommodate this new density, resultant loss of ‘greens’,” said RWA members.

Anticipating the increase of population by about two million in the next seven years, KICTG-2020 puts the possible infrastructure expenditure at Rs 2.56 lakh crore.

To meet the funds, it recommends equal share from infrastructure funds, such as additional FSI, and metro cess; state and central government grants; and contributions from urban bodies and stakeholders.

As per the plan, infrastructure fund generation through FSI charges and metro and transportation cess will be about Rs 79,365 crore.

Government grants

Another Rs 81,000 crore will be garnered from state and central government grants. Further, Rs 87,248 crore availed through loan/equity towards city bus system, commuter rails, grade separators, RUBs, high speed rail links.

The RWA members stated that increasing FAR would ruin the City as it would only increase population affecting all sectors and civic amenities.

A RWA member said: “The vertical growth of Bangalore will lead to utter chaos in City as existing infrastructure will not be sufficient. To create more space, more greenery will be lost. Water requirement will shoot up and public space overcrowded. The whole exercise seems to be meant for promoting real-estate activities.”

‘Lack of transparency’

Namma Bengaluru Foundation Member Mahalakshmi Parthasarathi said: “Our only contention is there is lack of transparency in the policy formulation, which has a direct bearing on us. There should have been consultation, which did not happen.”

Earlier in June, Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar had written to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah highlighting the concerns of RWA members. KICTG-2020 Member Mohandas Pai said the government has taken into account their recommendations.

However, he did not elaborate to what extent the government has approved KICTG-2020 suggestions.

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