The Bengaluru Vision Group (BVG) has now been revamped into BBAG and another extra-constitutional body has been thrust upon hapless Bengalureans. I am not going to talk about how inclusive the committee is though I can see some “repeats” from earlier “vision” committees, but then the pertinent point is if it were a Constitutional body, the government should not be able to dispense with it when it becomes too uncomfortable to have it around. But this is exactly what happened to all the earlier “vision” groups whose “well meaning advice” was rarely accepted or implemented in toto.
We saw the BATF being set up during S M Krishna’s government, but very little work was done as envisioned by it and it was terminated abruptly with the end of his term. Similar was the fate of the Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) set up during the tenure of B.S. Yeddyurappa as Chief Minister. Although it released a blueprint for the city’s development, covering governance, traffic management, environment, public health, education and so on, it was again left to the whims and fancies of the then political leadership to implement its suggestions.
Before the last Lok Sabha election, the high court stayed the formation of the vision group when deciding on a writ petition rooting for the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee instead. The irony is that although the stay was vacated in 2015 post the notification of the BMPC, the body has been in limbo since. So now the state government in its wisdom has constituted the BBAG to lead the way with “its vision.” Wonder what will happen once the government gets unhappy with it or if a different party comes to power in a couple of years. I also want to understand how one accounts for public money being spent on creating so many “VISIONS” which rarely see light of day!! Instead it would be better to revive the defunct BMPC and show some faith in the elected corporators who are a part of it. And we citizens of Bengaluru could also then write to the BMPC with our advice on improving our own neighbourhoods.