Disaster management plan missing in 2031 master plan

 Does Bengaluru have a plan to avert disasters in future? Where are the fire stations coming up? Where are the open spaces planned in the Master Plan-2031 to ensure safety of people when tragedy strikes?

These were some of the questions to which the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) and members of Royal HaskoningDHV, an engineering consultancy, had no answers to at the fourth public consultation meeting in the city on Wednesday.

Speaking to DH, after attending the east zone public consultation meeting, Raghu B V, domain expert in disaster management and Incident Response System from National Institute of Disaster Management, Delhi, said the 2031 master plan did not have a component for disaster management. There is just a mention of “Vipattu Nirvahane”. There is a need for vulnerable planning in communities, he said.

He pointed out that at any given time, over 10,000 people congregate in any one building or place, but when disaster strikes, there is no place for people to be evacuated and to congregate. There is no alert system and planning for this.

These aspects are part of the Disaster Management Act of 2015. The disaster risk reduction operation mechanism is mandatory in any master plan.

Setback violations
Citing the example of Mantri Square mall, he added that all buildings should follow the floor area ratio code. But unfortunately, most of them have many setback violations. Faulty construction materials are being used.

All these aspects should be considered while planning. There should be designated open spaces, space for fire stations and other emergency departments too, he said. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike has elected representatives and they play a vital role in city planning. They should be involved while chalking out these plans, he said.

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