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Bengaluru bursting at seams, but master plan missing

At present, the BDA follows the outdated RMP 2015, which has already proved to be a disaster
Last Updated : 09 January 2023, 01:25 IST
Last Updated : 09 January 2023, 01:25 IST
Last Updated : 09 January 2023, 01:25 IST
Last Updated : 09 January 2023, 01:25 IST

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The city has been expanding in all directions but the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is yet to prepare the Revised Master Plan (RMP), which frames guidelines for the city’s future development.

In the absence of strict zoning regulations, the peripheral areas of Bengaluru are sure to face the same set of issues that places such as Mahadevapura and Bommanahalli are presently facing.

At present, the BDA follows the outdated RMP 2015, which has already proved to be a disaster, given the recent floods that were caused by massive construction activities on lake beds and stormwater drains.

Even though the BDA undertook the exercise of preparing a fresh master plan in 2017, the B S Yediyurappa-led government scrapped ‘RMP 2031’ in mid-2020 without clearly stating the reasons. In December 2021, the BDA once again floated tenders for the preparation of the master plan, this time by extending the horizon period to 2041. There has been no progress since.

BDA’s Town Planning Member Dhananjay Reddy said the tender awaits approval from the board. “I cannot say when it will be approved because it requires legal and financial scrutiny,” he said, adding that the BDA is currently readying a base map of the city along with a drone survey to get better-quality pictures.

Insiders in the BDA say the preparation of the master plan is deliberately being delayed to help builders, who get a leeway to build in the absence of zoning regulations, particularly on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

Experts cautioned that the absence of a master plan, including zoning regulations, will lead to unplanned growth.

“While the BBMP’s jurisdiction is spread across just 741 sq km, our study has shown that over 1,300 sq km around Bengaluru have already been urbanised. If the growth is not planned in the initial stages, it’s difficult to create open spaces and clear encroachments from lakes and drains at the later stage,” M C Chandan, assistant professor at the National Institute of Engineering, told DH.

Chandan’s study on the pattern of land use change has predicted massive growth towards Anekal and Yelahanka, distantly followed by Hoskote and Sarjapur.

Speaking to DH, BDA chairman S R Vishwanath admitted that there had been a delay but promised that the preparation would start shortly. “We are undertaking a base survey by using drones. In the meanwhile, we will also complete formalities to engage an agency for the preparation of the master plan,” he said.

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Published 08 January 2023, 19:15 IST

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