K’taka CM says B’luru Revised Master Plan 2031 will be modified, citizens unconvinced

With citizens tearing into the draft proposed, Siddaramaiah also said another committee will be formed to study the objections.
K’taka CM says B’luru Revised Master Plan 2031 will be modified, citizens unconvinced
K’taka CM says B’luru Revised Master Plan 2031 will be modified, citizens unconvinced

With the state going into polls six months, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Tuesday that the controversial Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2031 prepared by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) will be modified keeping in mind the inputs from citizens.

The CM’s statements came after he chaired a meeting of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) and many members suggested that the deadline for submitting objections be extended. Siddaramaiah also said that another committee will be formed of BDA officials to look into the objections and only then a final decision will be taken.

This development was confirmed to TNM by Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Legislative Assembly Limbavali who had sought an extension on the January 23 deadline to file objections and had spoken against the existing RMP, citing loopholes.

But citizen activists are not convinced with the CM’s statements and the formation of a separate committee to look into the objections has been demanded.

Speaking to TNM, citizen activist and member of Citizen Action Forum Vijayan Menon said, “The CM is trying to make a statement suggesting everything is alright and every issue will be looked into. But we all know that the entire process has been short-circuited from the beginning.”

“To start with, the CM is not supposed to be in the MPC, they are supposed to be only the collective members of the municipality and not the state government, according to the 74th Constitutional Amendment. This is actually a perversion,” he added.

Vijayan also said that these statements actually mean nothing as the matter is already in court.

“As far as we are concerned, the BDA itself making the RMP is constitutionally wrong. We have already gone to court (Karnataka High Court), and the court has said that nothing will be passed without its approval,” he said.

When asked about the formation of another committee to look into the objection, Vijayan said, “Now the CM is talking about listening to objections, but when we sought clarifications from the BDA, officials refused to entertain us saying, ‘If you want, you go object.’ This is the level of arrogance BDA officials have.”

Srinivas Alavilli, co-founder of Citizens for Bengaluru, called for the scrapping of RMP 2031 and asked for it to be redone from the zonal level.

“I think the RMP must be redone entirely from ground up, starting with ward and zonal plans drawn with citizen participation. Since the RMP has far-reaching consequences for the future of our city, it is better to get it right than simply getting it done soon,” he told TNM.

“There are too many issues and objections, and they must be addressed in a manner that is transparent and comprehensive,” he added.

According to Bengaluru Development Minister KJ George, so far, 2,600 objections have been filed by citizens and they will all be looked into. Most of these objections were related to lakes and their buffer zones.

But the deadline has not been extended as demanded by some BJP MLAs.

For a long time now, citizen activists and subject experts alike have opposed the RMP 2031 for its technicalities and had voiced their displeasure with the initial opaqueness of the BDA in making the draft public.

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