The moniker of Garden City' is becoming a bit ironical as it is fast losing its parks and playgrounds to illegal encroachments. (Representational Image)
Bengaluru: B.PAC and Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) have strongly condemned the Karnataka Assembly for passing of Karnataka Urban Development Authorities (Amendment) Bill reducing the lung space, civic amenities and play ground without any discussion or debate. B.PAC demanded that the legislation should instead suggest measures for better protection of the existing public parks and civic amenity spaces from illegal encroachments.
The issue of public playgrounds needs to be considered separately as its main users are children, who are not participating stakeholders. Accordingly, special care must be taken to protect their interests, which in this case, is to maintain the existing playgrounds or even introduce new ones.
In a move invoking a strong sense of déjà vu, the Karnataka Assembly has now passed the bill without any discussion. It has attracted attention owing to its controversial clauses aimed at reducing the space to be allocated for public parks and playgrounds and the space afforded to civic amenities.
Section 16 of the existing Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Act, 1987 mandates the reservation of 15 per cent and 10 per cent of the total space of new layout for public parks and civic amenities, respectively. The amended bill seeks to bring these space reservations down to 10 per cent for public parks and playgrounds and five per cent for civic amenities.
Currently the bill is awaiting Governor’s assent. It is our earnest plea to all citizens of Bengaluru to get together and make our objections to this legislation heard to the Governor. The moniker of ‘Garden City’ is becoming a bit ironical as it is fast losing its parks and playgrounds to illegal encroachments. Moves such as this legislation are the first step towards a slow demise of the public park culture of the city, the B.PAC said.
"World over urbanization is an inevitable challenge. Many countries and cities are beginning to see this as an opportunity and working on repurposing their cities for emergent needs keeping in mind the carrying capacity and aesthetics. Bengaluru in the process of growing has failed miserably to understand its carrying capacity. This legislation will further aggravate the pollution levels in the city by largely reducing the last few open spaces that is still keeping the city alive. Time to rechristen our city as concrete jungle as we will only find our once garden city in ?coffee table books, post cards and our memories" Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation.