Bengaluru: The government has successfully divided civil society into an ‘in’ group, now called the Bengaluru Blueprint Action Group (BBAG), and an ‘out’ group that insists that the new non-statutory elite club of mostly business leaders is usurping the role of the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC).
In the din over the BBAG, the civil society’s eyes have been taken off a crucial aspect — Masterplan 2030, the actual blueprint for Bengaluru unto 2030, and fertile ground for the economics of the city’s politics.
Remember 2007, when the Kumaraswamy government ushered in the Comprehensive Development Plan 2015? Suddenly, the city nearly quadrupled in size, thousands of acres of green belt area turned into an urban jungle, and crores of rupees exchanged hands. There were Income Tax raids on politicians (including a minister’s girlfriend’s house where the stash was covered with dried fish), BDA babus and builders and middlemen.
Those cases haven’t yet been settled, but it’s already time for the next Masterplan, and the agenda, too, is set. The city will expand by another 500 sqkms, with more green areas set to go brown.
Will the BBAG then merely serve as a smokescreen of big names for the unholy activities of unseen hands? The timing of its creation has certainly raised eyebrows....