Formation of metropolitan agency illegal, say experts

'Restricted to BDA limits, it fails to fulfil Constitutional provisions'

The Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Area (BMPA), for which the Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Committee (BMPC) was recently constituted, is said to be in violation of the Constitution.

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has drawn flak for assigning the toothless BMPC with the task of preparing the master plan-2031.

A prominent civic expert claimed that the committee does not fulfil the conditions laid down in the 74th amendment to the Constitution, based on which the BMPC was formed.
He said that Article 243P(C) qualifies the ‘metropolitan area’ as an area having a population of 10 lakh or more, spread over one or more districts and consisting of two or more municipalities or Panchayats or other contiguous areas, specified by the Governor by public notification to be a metropolitan area.

“The BMPA only covers the jurisdiction of the BDA and calling the local planning area of BDA as metropolitan area is flawed.

“The BMPA does not cover the entire Bengaluru Urban district because the BMPC is restricted to the BDA jurisdiction,” said the expert.

The biggest flaw in the BMPA, which all civic experts agree, is that Anekal Town Panchayat is left out although it comes under the jurisdiction of Bengaluru Urban district and is fast growing.

“The BMPA covers only 55 per cent of Bengaluru Urban district although the Constitution mandates covering at least one district and more than one municipal and Panchayat body.”

‘Govt in hurry’

The BMPC is meant to coordinate with various civic agencies, municipal and Panchayat bodies to develop the City in a planned way. However, the government, in a hurry, formed the BMPC following an order by the High Court of Karnataka last year.
Former chief secretary and urban affairs expert A Ravindra too cited certain shortcomings in the BMPC.

“The Kasturirangan committee, in which I too was a member, had recommended bringing Anekal within its jurisdiction. I feel that Ramanagar can also be brought under the BMPC jurisdiction,” said Ravindra. He, however, disagreed that BMPC violates the Constitutional provisions.

Ravichandar, another civic expert, said the formation of BMPC was a good thing, in principle. But since it was a first attempt, it had certain defects. “The BMPC requires great clarity on its role, functions and also composition,” Ravichandar said.

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