For a better tomorrow

For a better tomorrow

The draft Revised Masterplan (RMP) 2031, made public over the weekend by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), has elicited a mixed response from the public.

The RMP has proposed measures to curb commercialisation in residential areas, increase the green belt coverage and has also identified a few heritage structures to be preserved for posterity. The plan has zeroed in on nearly 190 properties, both public and private, as heritage.

They include some of the oldest hotels, parks, markets, theatres, book stores, festivals and fairs.

Reacting to this, Shilpa Nagraj, an employee with General Electric, points out that trying to retain certain properties as heritage sites is a great idea.

"Being a old Bengalurean, I would relive old Bangalore every time I visit these places. But the government departments need to work to preserve these heritage sites. They should coordinate with each other to avoid inconvenience to the public. This will help them utilise the tax funds more efficiently," says Shilpa.

She also feels the new plan must include provisions to reduce the frequent digging up of roads for laying sewage and gas lines.

In an effort to fight excessive commercialisation in residential places, the plan has also banned commercial activity on roads that are less than 41 feet in width.

Keerthi Sagar B N, a professional who has been living in the city for the last 28 years, has seen the city grow.

He feels the grand proposals listed in the masterplan will work only if implemented well. Reacting to the proposal to curb commercial activity in residential areas, Keerthi says this will give pedestrians a lot of space.

"But this will be done at the expense of many street food stalls and small local markets. The city is known for its wayside eateries and losing them would displace a lot of vendors. The government could look at creating exclusive lanes for walking where no vehicles are allowed and building small complexes where street stalls could be set up at subsidised rates. We should not forget vendors while beautifying the city," says Keerthi.

But Nadia Zackria, a homemaker, finds the RMP to be over-optimistic.

"The infrastructural projects in the city are commissioned and completed at the whims and fancies of a few people who are rich and powerful. The city is growing at a fast pace but there is no system in place to match that growth. Narrow roads and lack of proper parking space are just some of the problems that Bengalureans battle with almost on a daily basis," says Nadia.

She feels that the RMP must resort to a more workable method rather than develop an ambitious plan and achieve nothing at the end of the day.

There is also a plan to increase the green cover as per the directions from the National Green Tribunal. Vinay Srinivas, a lecturer, says, "The need of the hour is to increase the green cover of the city. There are more buildings today than ever before and we are heading towards a very congested city. Development is a good thing but not at the cost of a depleting green cover."

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