Citizens oppose expansion of city, want townships

Citizens oppose expansion of city, want townships

Participants at public consultation say master plan 2031 is illegal

Citizens oppose expansion of city, want townships

Residents of Bengaluru demanded creating five townships that were proposed a decade ago instead of burdening the city as there is pressure on land, transport and civic amenities. 

Participants at the fourth public consultation meeting by Bengaluru Development Authority and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on the draft master plan-2031 in east zone on Wednesday termed the master plan  unconstitutional as members of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Authority (BMPA) were not consulted before drafting the plan.

Naresh Narasimhan, architect and member of Citizens for Bengaluru, said the city cannot handle more people as pollution is high, water is scarce and there is no proper transportation in place. Instead, the government should concentrate on developing satellite townships.

“If the government decides to go ahead, then we will approach the Supreme Court as it is a violation of the 74th Amendment of the Constitution. We will also challenge them under Article 21 of the Constitution – right to life, clean air and water,” he said.

None of the senior BDA, BBMP or BWSSB officials or corporators were present at the consultation. This angered the residents and led to poor attendance. BMPA member and corporator M Nagaraju said BDA should have come out with this pre-draft in 2014, when the 2015 master plan was coming to an end.

“There is a need to plan for the future. People are forced to come to the CBD. Instead, the government should focus on creating CBDs in townships,” he said. He also questioned the fate of the master plan with none of the officials present.

Vidyadhar, a member of Citizens Action Forum, questioned how the government was planning to introduce car-free roads when it was adamant on the steel flyover and elevated corridors that encourage more private vehicles. Pratima N Reddy, architect and structural designer questioned the fate of the 2015 master plan.

“The BDA and the government should first present a report of how much of the earlier plan has been implemented, why it failed, the areas where it was implemented and where it was not. The vision document of 2015 emphasised on preservation of lakes and nalas, but there was flooding in 2016.”  Venu Gopal, Secretary of LIC-Jeevan Bimanagar residents’ welfare association, demanded a detailed report on green spaces.