Citizens and Resident Welfare Associations in Bengaluru have objected to the recommendations made by the Karnataka Information and Communication Technology Group Report (KIG Report) that does not address the crucial challenges faced by the citizens, especially in terms of real governance reforms and transparency.
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Objecting to the recommendations made in the report, the Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) BRACE – a consortium of 750 Residents Association in the city said the report represents a surrender of the city’s Development to the commercial interests represented by builders, contractors and real estate companies – many of whose commercial interests are directly responsible for the problems faced by the city and residents and called for immediate action to constitute the Metropolitan Planning Committee as mandated by law which will serve as the official planning body in the city.
Namma Bengaluru Foundation – Bengaluru Residents Association Confederation objected to the recommendations of the KIG report earlier as well and had also arranged for a consultation with the KIG. During the consultation, the NBF – BRACE members had objected to the core proposal in the Report recommending increase of Floor Space Index for builders to generate funds for development of Bengaluru.
This increase in FSI without taking into account the infrastructural constraints in the form of adequate roads, water, electricity and civic services required to service the additional Floor Space Index will sound a death knell to the city, say the citizens. Seeing no response, the group has now officially written to the CM urging him to hold a public consultation on the recommendations of the KIG report.
The state must not make a plan that does not have the buy-in of the citizens
There is a need for a regional plan for the city that will be developed in a consultative way with all stakeholders, which serves the needs of the communities within the city, keeping in mind the environmental impact of large groups of people living together and of course with scientific understanding of the carrying capacity of the city vis-à-vis its needs.
“There is an urgent need for a wider public consultative process that reviews all the objections and suggestions provided by various organizations and citizens of Bangalore with regard to the KIG report. The citizens in the city feel excluded as many of these suggestions already provided have not been incorporated into the report” says Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO – Namma Bengaluru Foundation.
Why multiple plans when a Metropolitan Planning Committee is legally asked to plan for a city?
As per the Sections 503 A and B, introduced in 1994, in the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act 1976, as mandated by the 74th Amendment to the Constitution, it is mandatory for the State to transfer the responsibility of city planning to the local governments by mandatory constitution of the MPC. “The Karnataka government has after notifying the draft MPC rules on November 07, 2013 has not proceeded to constitute the MPC. Given that the sections relevant to MPC were amended to KMC in 1994 and Bangalore city having grown manifolds over the 2 decades hence, we still do not have an official planning body as mandated by Law. Instead we see real estate mafias and groups with vested interests shaping the city’s future in a non consultative process” says N S Mukunda, Member – BRACE – A consortium of 750 Residents Association in the city.
This is a press note sent by Usha Dhanraj of Namma Bengaluru Foundation and published with minimal editing, in the section Message Forward, a space meant for messages by non-profits and individuals.