RWAs miffed over notification on BDA's master plan

They allege conflicts between court affidavit and gazette notification

 Members of many Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWA) are miffed over the gazette notification of the amended Revised Master Plan-2015 prepared by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), issued on December 11, 2014.

The members said that though the BDA commissioner had agreed to incorporate the amendments and an affidavit was submitted to the High Court to this effect, the same has not been reflected in the gazette notification. A PIL was filed by the Citizens’ Action Forum and RWAs, challenging the RMP-2015 and for amendments to be incorporated.

The members said that in the BDA commissioner’s affidavit, it was mentioned that ancillary land use can be accommodated only if the width of the road is 40 feet or more. Ancillary land use includes setting up of petty shops and stationery shops. However, 40 feet in the affidavit has been changed to 12 metres in the gazette.

The RWA members said that 12 metres is equal to 39.4 feet, which is below 40 feet. Most residential roads are 40 feet wide and this was specifically noted by the bench.
The members have highlighted that the use of the term “12 metres and above” renders practically all residential roads open to ancillary use. Similarly, expansion of commercial and transportation activities was limited to R3 which is Ring 3, referring to the City’s outer ring road areas and beyond. However, in the affidavit R2 or Ring 2 was included, which are areas from the central business district up to the outer ring road. 

Under the residential zone, in the main land use category, the BDA commissioner’s affidavit had deleted a mention of the construction of multi-level parking, filling stations and service stations from the original RMP-2015. But in the gazette notification, the same has been added back. Filling stations and service stations were specifically left out in the affidavit since they attract severe traffic activities in residential areas and it is best to include them in the commercial zone. In the affidavit, only multi-level parking was allowed for residential apartments, to cater to needs of residents.

With regard to the use of commercial establishments, industries and urban amenities, in the BDA commissioner's affidavit, it was mentioned that only specified list of activities will be allowed. However in the gazette, the same has not been included, which will allow IT, BT and BPO industries to thrive in residential zones.

One of the members of the RWA said that all efforts were made by filing a PIL to bring about changes in the RMP-2015. But now, all the arguments in the court have become futile as the amendments have not been incorporated. Although the PIL was disposed of in February, the gazette notification was issued only recently  - on December 11 - following High Court directions.

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