What are you doing to our Bengaluru, Mr CM?

The government has now mooted an amendment to Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Act, 1987.

BENGALURU: With the proposal to amend the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Bill, tabled in the Assembly on Wednesday, which will see a significant reduction on the minimum green cover requirement in parks, playgrounds and apartment complexes, is the Karnataka government scrabbling for a backdoor entry into the much-opposed steel flyover project, which involves the felling of 2000 trees? The landmark move will reduce green cover in parks and playgrounds from 15 percent to 10 percent and the area of civic amenities from 10% to five per cent. The amendment, if passed, will sound the death-knell for citizens who have ten days left to save 112 trees on Jayamahal Road, the felling of which will mark the start of the steel flyover project. Clearly, public outrage is the least of the government’s concerns, for their answer to the outcry – and to the NGT – is to simply change the law in their favour.

Govt moves to cut park and open area in new layouts
At the moment, these layouts are expected to reserve not less than fifteen per cent of the total area for public parks and play grounds, with another ten per cent set aside for civic amenities.

The government has now mooted an amendment to Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Act, 1987, reducing the park and playground area from fifteen per cent to ten per cent and the area of civic amenities from ten per cent to five per cent.

The bill also moots the inclusion of Legislators, representatives of ESCOM, territorial DCF, a member of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, CEO of Zilla Panchayat and a Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies in the Urban Developm

Want to save trees? You’ve just 10 days
The fight for Bengaluru’s green cover began with the government plans for a steel flyover that will involve the felling of over 2000 trees across the city. Bengalureans, led by the Citizens Action Forum and Citizens for Bengaluru, have been left with 10 days to save 112 trees that will be cut for the widening of Jayamahal Road. They have, so far, fallen back on the National Green Tribunal for legal backing.

Public outrage, however, appears to be the least of the government’s concerns, made clear by the moving of the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Bill in the Assembly on Wednesday. The Bill, which reduces the area reserved for parks and open spaces in residential layouts and mid-segment apartments, could deal a death-blow to the city's eco-system.

The Bill has brought two Congress leaders, K.J. George and N.A. Haris, at loggerheads with each other. Mr Haris, the Shantinagar MLA, said, “If lung space reduces at this rate, Bengaluru will soon be another Delhi where people have to walk around with masks. When the subject is up for discussion, I will register my opposition.” The consequences of cutting down the green cover, he argues, will affect both current and future generations alike. “Instead of axing our trees and making citizens suffer, other cities can be developed across the state.” The revised Master Plan, he said, should look at enhancing the city’s green cover instead of reducing it.

Consequently, city’s border is touching Hosur on one side and Andhra Pradesh on the other. The government may have to plan green zone in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Bengaluru Development Minister K. J. George said the government is taking feedback from citizens and stakeholders to come out with the new CDP. The government will look into the green zone issue once feedback is received, he said.

General secretary of the Citizens’ Action Forum (CAF) N. Mukund said that the bill is aimed at favouring real estate developers. “The city is already losing its lung space and green cover in the name of development, the government’s decision to reduce the lung space during the layout formation is a disastrous move.If the growth of the city is imperative, instead of conceding to the reduction green cover, the government must give importance to vertical growth that is also sustainable.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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