Bangalore Development Authority's Revised Master plan 2031: Reduced Forest Cover And Encroached Lakes
A quick look at the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA)’s Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2031 would be enough to point out the loopholes and miscalculations in their plan.
The aggressive RMP 2031 is aimed at achieving ecological sustainability, mobility, inclusive growth and streamlined governance and calling them the four pillars on which Bangalore’s development for the next 15 years would be based. The plan is still open to the public, and they have welcomed suggestions and alternatives.
NGT’s Buffer Zone
This plan violates NGT’s order that a 75-meter buffer zone should be maintained around lakes and other water bodies. Not just that it shows that the Existing Land Use (ELU) data is riddled with cartographic errors.
Residents living close to Kasavanahalli and Kaikondrahalli lakes in Bengaluru east have been donating money and fundraising to maintain these lakes. These are two of the four lakes in Bangalore which are still alive and have not been used for development purposes. The residents under Mahadevpura Parisara Samrakshane Abhivrudhi Samiti (MAPSAS) have been taking care of the lakes.
BDA has planned and identified several areas for building corridor roads as a part of making an integrated transport system. Some of these roads are scheduled for a 12-18 meter radius from the lakes. This violates the 75-meter buffer zone set by the NGT.
Under the proposed land use analysis of Bellandur-Haralur area, of the 9,555-acre area available for development, 909 acres are water bodies, while 1,030 acres are reserved for buffer zones. One of the roads has been proposed on a Rajakaluve (storm water drains) of Kasavanahalli lake. There are many other lakes that are being similarly encroached upon.
A 12-meter road cuts through the boundary of Achhana and Saulkere lake. Similarly, a 12-meter road also passes by Kaikondrahalli lake. Chinnappanahalli and Doddanekundi lakes face an even worse crisis. There are 12-meter and 18-meter road cutting right from the middle of the lake. All these roads somehow lead to tech parks and office spaces.
Existing Land Use data
This plan shows that with the need for more residential areas, there would be reduced forest cover. There is no explanation of any of this pieces of information. The Hindu tried to get in touch with the BDA authorities but failed to get a reply from them.
According to The Hindu, V. Ravichandar, a member of the BBMP Restructuring Committee said,
Just in a walking-distance radius of my house in Langford Town, at least eight roads have not been shown in the ELU maps. If this plan is approved as it is, properties can gobble up these roads. Several parks have also not been shown.
The reduction of the forest cover is not so easy as well. They plan to decrease it by 17 sq.km. But the BDA has no jurisdiction over forests. The State government has to denotify the land for that.
The Logical Indian hopes that in a bid to develop Bangalore, nature should not be harmed. Freshwater and air are the basic right of people. Bangalore, once a city with sprawling lakes hardly has a few left. Whatever is there should not be hurt. The forest also caters to a range of flora and fauna. Their habitat should not be snatched away from them to make way for our own.