City Kemp News
Residents Welfare Associations in Koramangala and several citizens have filed objections with the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) with regard to Draft Master Plan RMP 2031.
The last date to file objections was 23rd January 2018 and BDA will be going through the objections filed and deciding what changes to make before notifying the final RMP 2031.
The High Court of Karnataka in a case pending before it filed by Citizens’ Action Forum and Others had restrained the BDA from notifying the final RMP until further orders from the court. The stay would have to be vacated before the BDA can notify the final Masterplan. The case related to the rest of the MPC which is constitutionally mandated to be the planning body for the city and how the MPC had been totally bypassed in the process of plan finalization.
Citizens objections have centred around the following key objections
A. There had been no buy-in from the parastatal agencies that are actually responsible for implementation of the RMP. For instance the BBMP, BWSSB, Bescom and KIADB among others have been peripheral players in this entire exercise.
It is strange for instance that the RMP makes mention of a dual water pipeline system but BWSSB professes to have no knowledge of this proposal. Similarly 1300 MW of power is proposed to be generated during the plan period. It is unclear as to the sources of this extra power and how much would come from renewable sources and how much would come from non renewable sources. Many such projects are mentioned in the document without the implementing agencies being even aware of what is proposed, in many cases.
B. There are many assumptions relating to population growth of Bengaluru that do not match with the reality on the ground and with other studies. For instance the population of Bengaluru is projected to grow by almost 1 crore during the next 12 years. Around 60 % of this increase is assumed to be “organic”.
However, given the reality that the population fertility of Karnataka I’d already below population replacement levels it appears to fly in the face of reality for this kind of macro assumption to be made.
C. There are multiple provisions that have agitated citizens within the zoning regulations laid down. For instance while the document talks about restricting commercial usage in residential areas it has gone ahead and permitted industries to come up without regulation.
Further, nursery and Montessori schools have been allowed as main usage in residential roads irrespective of road width, a provision sure to create chaos in tranquil neighbourhoods. Another disturbing provision relates to SEZs being allowed anywhere irrespective of zoning.
D. A number of primary drains appear to have disappeared from the maps provided when compared to RMP 2015. In fact RMP 2031 appears to show only 5 primary drains in all of Bengaluru which does appear quite far fetched.
The method of designating drains and Kaluves appears to have changed, relying now on satellite topography instead of village maps and function. However the use of satellite topography alone ends up rewarding those who have encroached upon, filled up and diverted drains illegally.
E. There are several basic cartographical errors, shocking for a document of this importance. Many road widths are indicated erroneously. There are even massive blunders including where the famous Kaikondarahalli lake in Bellandur is mislabelled.
Citizens hope that the BDA would be responsive to the objections filed and not attempt to ram through the final notification in a hurry keeping the election schedule in mind. Citizens would be forced to take the legal redress route if other options do not work out.