BJP urges Governor to reject bill to reduce open spaces, parks

BJP urges Governor to reject bill to reduce open spaces, parks

 Senior BJP leader and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar on Sunday wrote to Governor Vajubhai Vala urging him to reject a bill recently passed by the legislature that seeks to reduce the area to be reserved for parks and open spaces in residential layouts.

Shettar, who is Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, stated in his letter that the provisions amended in the bill will shrink open spaces and areas for civic amenities and allow green spaces to be handed over to builders. “Only the builders will gain from this...The move of the government is a recipe for disaster”, he stated.

The Karnataka Urban Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was adopted both the two Houses of the legislature without any discussion amid dharna and slogan shouting by the Opposition members, who were demanding the resignation of the then Bengaluru Development minister K J George over the suicide of Deputy Superintendent of Police M K Ganapathi.

The bill seeks to reduce the area to be reserved for public parks and playgrounds in layouts developed by urban development authorities from the present 15% of the total area to 10%. It also seeks to reduce the area to be reserved for civic amenities from the present 10% of the total area to five%. It will affect about 250 small towns and cities across the state except Bengaluru.

Shettar stated that many multi-storied constructions have come up flouting existing regulations regarding open space. “By passing such a legislation, the government has sent out a signal that it is ready to protect vested interests at the cost of orderly development of the state”, he stated.

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