Chikkaballapur going B'luru way due to unchecked growth: study

Plans to develop KGF, Chikkaballapur and Hoskote in Bengaluru Rural district as satellite towns have remained at the conceptual level but a study of Chikkaballapur by researchers from the World Resource Institute (WRI) shows the town has already come under development pressure.

The WRI decided to volunteer to improve the Chikkaballapur masterplan following a request by civic evangelist V Ravichander who said there was an urgent need to intervene in the development at the Bengaluru's peripheries.

"These areas will be part of a greater Bengaluru in future. WRI's international experience will not only help in raising the standards of the masterplan, but also ensure a better way of life for people in the Bengaluru's margins," Ravichander said.

Bengaluru is going to add about 1,550 people every day till 2031, when the population is expected to cross 2 crore as per BDA projection. The masterplan for the project, however,  is yet to be finalised.

The study expresses concern over climate change and the need for effective measures to counter threats posed by development. "Speculative investments are leading to private layouts. Unbridled growth and encroachment of water bodies will create the same problem and affect future possibilities," said Jaya Dhindhaw, Strategy Head - Integrated Urban Planning, WRI India.

Jaya and four other researchers from the WRI have recommended several suggestions to be incorporated into the masterplan. These include the need to consider conservation of natural resources and protection of ecologically-sensitive areas while allowing development in the region.

"Authorities should immediately take steps to regulate development as per growth projection and incorporate measures in the masterplan to protect its water bodies," Jaya said.

She said two big lakes in the centre of Chikkaballapur have dried up as the stormwater drains have disappeared. "Officials learnt about the extent of the lakes only after we made a presentation based on GIS analysis and mapping. If development was allowed on lake bed, it would have led to the same problems that are happening in Bengaluru."

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