Citizens to bring the change they want
BANGALORE: No more waiting for authorities to set things right. Citizens have decided to take up the fight against unplanned development of their city themselves.
Civic groups and resident welfare associations on Tuesday decided to come together to impact people’s lives, traffic and environment. About 10 groups joined to form Bangalore Transportation Projects Impacted Communities (BATPIC) Network which will take on the government bodies and agencies, which plan projects without realizing the larger impact on communities and environment.
Leo Saldhana, who is spearheading the network, slammed the urban development department, BDA, BBMP and Directorate of Urban Land Transport (Dult) for not having planned projects like road widening after public consultation.
“This dismal democratic deficit exists despite the fact that statutes such as Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, Bangalore Development Authority Act, Constitutional 74th Amendment (Nagarpalika) Act, Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, Karnataka Parks and Open Spaces Act, and several more, mandate that agencies must consult people in decisions that affect their lives, livelihoods and their futures,” he said.
He pointed out that civic agencies are so pressed to carry on with what they think is right that they made transfer of development rights (TDR) mandatory, while it is not. “Even the first person who accepted the TDR has not received his certificate. He has been waiting since 2006,” stated an official release of BAPTIC Network. The civic agencies had completely ignored the Right to Life and Livelihoods of the Indian Constitution, it said.
Residents’ Welfare Association members also said progressive development should happen but not by destructing livelihoods. “Our approach to inclusive growth of the city should be by including the voices of people who have intelligent thinking to solve issues like traffic and congestion, rather than just widening roads. Also the public transport share should be increased to 50%,” said Muralidhar Rao, founding member, Praja.