The Bengaluru Development Authority knew that the Revised Bangalore Draft Master Plan 2031 would be placed under public scrutiny. However, while they were expecting some brickbats, they sure were hoping that their plans would fall into place. Sadly, that was not the case at the first public consultation held for the Bommanahalli zone.

 

More than the draft master plan, it was the incompetency and the drawbacks of the BDA that was the most discussed topic. Now a second public consultation meet will be held at Rajaji Nagar RTO complex on January 13, afternoon between 3 pm and 5 pm.

 

At this first zonal meet, the citizens of Bommanahalli made sure the gathered officials got a piece of their mind.

 

Firstly, they criticised the lack of planning in this meeting itself. While the whole plan has not been made public, the BDA had published a 35-page document on the projected scenarios for 2031 and they are calling it a Vision Document. Citizens said that this was too little time given to even read and understand the implications and proposals in the Vision Document for the city and moreover, how was it created when the public was not even consulted in making this vision?

 

Also read: 89% of green cover in Bengaluru has been destroyed: IISC study​

 

In addition to that many pointed out the senselessness of the BDA having formulated this draft in collaboration with a Delhi-based company DHV India Private Limited. What should have been done was to have had Bengaluru’s own surveyors and people with knowledge of the city on this team to formulate the plan.  

 

Secondly, the citizens demanded that there are over 198 wards in the city and holding public meets at Zonal levels would be a waste of time. The meetings need to be held at the ward levels because in most of these there are no overseeing committees even functioning. A meeting of the wards would mean more public participation and a clearer view of the ground reality.

 

Thirdly, the people did not mince any words in reminding the BDA of its bad performance in the previous years. They taunted the officials to first finish implementing their previous plans and then make such grandiose and futuristic plans. The people highlighted the need for short term plans to tackle issues in the infrastructure, civic planning, sanitation, accommodation and water distribution in the city. They also said how many at times, people’s opinions were taken only to be rejected later on. They stressed on the need for a proper planning committee to oversee whether actual work was being done.

 

The citizens insisted that plan making could take a backseat as there were more pressing and current issues that needed the BDA attention. They asked them to ensure improvement of road conditions, water supply and sanitation facilities rather than make big plans.

 

The green cover in the city has been depleting thanks to the various infrastructure and residential projects currently in the city. Often road widening and other transport related projects are being undertaken in areas of the city which can do without them and in the process congested roads are being ignored. They inquired into the provisions made for the transit and road network in anticipation of the growing population of the city.

 

Also read: The logic for Bengaluru's steel flyover flies over citizens' heads

 

The city is bursting at its seams and with the regular influx of people, the facilities provided for the citizens are falling short. So they argued for the need to develop satellite cities to contain this problem. They gathering raised questions as to what was the land use strategy for these suggested plans by the BDA when in the current scenario itself the people were falling short of land.

 

If one were to go ahead with the 2031 plans, then Bengaluru could soon end up being a dead and grey city unlike how it was known previously as the green and lake-filled city.

 

These exceptions made by the citizens are proof that the BDA has done its homework. Moreover, the role and presence of other agencies like power, waste, transport etc, is not defined as yet. There is no clarity as to their roles. With planning being made in such a haphazard manner one can expect this Master plan 2031 to be an epic disaster and cause of major inconvenience to the citizens.

 

Also read: Bengaluru to be declared a dead city in 15 years?