The Karnataka High Court on Monday issued notices to the state government and the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) with regard to the Draft Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2031.
The HC was hearing a writ petition filed by the Citizens Action Forum, which said the BDA’s plan lacked clarity and authorities were not giving any clarifications on important issues – which is part of the public consultation process.
A division bench of the HC, headed by Acting Chief Justice HG Ramesh and Justice PS Dinesh Kumar, sought a response from the BDA.
Explaining its position, Vijayan Menon of CAF said, “There were some queries which we had with certain aspects, especially regulations related to residential zones. We took it up with the BDA, but they refused to give clarifications. Their attitude was 'If you have to file objections, go ahead. We are not giving any clarifications.’ We cannot object to something which is subject to 20 clarifications as it pertains to 20 different things. This is the basis on which the writ petition was filed.”
“If you are not giving clarification, what is the purpose of public consultation?” he added.
“Secondly, in the 1,000-page document, you (the BDA) are talking about water, road, electricity, etc. We wanted to know if all these plans had been okayed by the other stakeholders, like the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) and BWSSB (Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board). But we never got any answer,” he added.
Another petition is being heard by the HC, in which the legality of RMP 2031 draft prepared by the BDA is being questioned.
According to petitioners, according to the 74th Constitutional Amendment, all town planning activities have to be done by the Metropolitan Planning Committee, of which two-thirds of the members have to be elected corporators.
From the start, citizen activists and subject experts alike have opposed RMP 2031, saying it is full of technical errors and is very vague. The draft master plan has glaring errors, included leaving out encroached lakes and roads bang in the centre of the city.
Close to 13,000 objections have been filed in the BDA regarding this. A committee headed by BBMP Special Commissioner (Projects) Vijay Shankar is looking into the objections.