The study said that basic issues, such as housing and drinking water for the city’s poor, have not been looked into at all.

Study tears into Bluru Revised Master Plan 2031 for ignoring citys underprivilegedRepresentational image: http://www.susana.org/ via WIkimedia Commons
news Civic Issues Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 18:10

Tuesday marked the last day when residents of Bengaluru could submit their inputs for the Draft Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2031, which has been widely criticised for being riddled with errors.

According to Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) officials, a total of 13,000 objections were filed by individual citizens, civic forums, social organisations, Resident Welfare Associations and subject experts. Glaring errors include missing roads, lakes turned to playgrounds and mislabelling land according to its use.

Apart from this slew of mistakes, the Draft Master Plan, prepared by the BDA in consultation with Royal Haskoning DHV, a Holland-based firm, has nothing for the deprived communities in urban areas, a study has found.

“Be it in terms of accessing space, financial resources or using democratic means of shaping a city as per their needs and aspirations, the people who toil for the city by providing it their grossly devalued and mostly physical labour are often kept out of key processes that affect their everyday lives,” the report said.

The study, titled ‘Social Justice and Urban Deprived Communities: Critique of the RMP 2031’, added that the language, tone and tenor of RMP 2031 is exclusionary and is not people-centric. “This is so because the RMP 2031 plays its music to the dominant classes and castes in the city, along with real estate agents and the big corporates. It excludes slum dwellers, street vendors, pourakarmikas, construction workers, migrant workers, garment workers, among various other working class people, who all mostly belong to the Dalit and Adivasi community,” it says.

One such ignored issue for the urban poor is the need for housing.

“The entire RMP speaks of land use and value. However, there is no mention of where they will provide ‘housing for all’, what land is going to be used, etc. In addition, the fact that they are speaking of ‘housing for all’ through public-private partnership, speaks of how the State is shirking away from its responsibility to provide dignified housing to all its citizens,” the report said.

The basic requirement of drinking water has also been overlooked.

According to the report, the present population density of slums is eight times to that of other parts of the city.

“What plans does the current planning mechanism have for residents of slums living in conditions that are dangerous and inhuman to provide adequate resources, finances to better their living conditions?” the report asks.

It also says that even though the RMP 2031 talks about “balanced integrated development”, there is not even a single mention for the functioning of ward committees, the fundamental of democratic form of urban governance.  

Calling for the scrapping of RMP 2031, the report suggests that a bottom-up approach of planning in the form of BBMP Ward Committees, through the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee should be implemented.

The report was prepared in consultation with multiple social organisations, trade unions and non-profits, and can be accessed here.

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