Bengaluru is paying an enormous price for its phenomenal growth and poor planning. The building of adhoc magic boxes, underpasses and flyovers has resulted in public money being wasted at the whim and fancy of different agencies. And many high profile projects have only ended up shifting traffic bottlenecks from one place to another.
The rules of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Planning Committee (BPMC) call for planning and co-ordination of services for the entire Bengaluru metropolitan area with proper policies, strategies and priorities laid down for a plan period of 25 years.
The committee itself is supposed to serve as a nodal agency to disburse the funds to local planning and development authorities and monitor their physical achievements annually. So it is important for this project costing 1,791 crores and supposedly aiming at decongesting a crucial corridor in the heart of the city, to be placed before the BMPC for approval.
Courts too have time and again emphasised the need to seek the BMPC’s approval whenever change of land use is intended in the city. The planned steel flyover, which has the potential to impact the spatial planning of Bengaluru, cannot therefore bypass the BMPC.
Unless we assert that Bengaluru can and should become a shining example of sustainable urbanisation and achieve this through constitutionally mandated processes and by involving the people in its development, we are looking at a bleak future for our beloved city.