We are not against expert committees or their members. But the Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Committee, which has been reluctantly set up by the state government after a lot of pressure from citizen activists, must be given its due. Although the MPC was formed in the last leg of the Siddaramaiah government, we are happy that it has been at least set up.
It’s difficult to understand whey we need an expert committee when we have an MPC. As per the 74th amendment of the Constitution citizens must be involved and consulted in planning for a city. But can any citizen approach IT czar, Narayana Murthy or Ms Kiran Mazumadar Shaw and tell them what he wants for the city to help them accommodate it in their plan ? On the other hand, as elected representatives are part of the MPC, they are the people’s voice on the body.
It is the duty of the new government to take the MPC seriously and bring all the parastatal agencies like BBMP, BWSSB, BESCOM, andBMRDA under it so that things can move in the right direction for the city.
One of the major problems is the lack of coordination among the civic bodies. One body makes a plan without the knowledge of the other and ultimately it all leads to a mess. An expert committee alone cannot be tasked with drawing up plans as it may not be aware of the ground reality. But when it becomes a part of the MPC, it could pitch its ideas and receive a feedback from the elected representatives , which could then lead to a wonderful plan for the city.
Also, when the experts are part of the MPC, their ideas will be discussed and debated before being approved. This will not result in selected, but overall development. For example, the infrastructure development that Electronic City and its nearby areas have witnessed over the years, has not been seen anywhere else in the city. We are not against the development of the IT industry, but there should be fair development of other areas too with good roads, parks and other facilities....