BENGALURU: The Bengaluru vision group announced by the government is filled with members espousing the corporate cause, citizens’ associations are saying.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah heads the newly formed Bengaluru Blue Print Action Group (BBPAG). Its members are leaders of the IT and BT industries whose mega fortunes and reputations were built in Bengaluru since the 1990s.
N S Mukunda, Citizen Action Forum, says the BBPAG comprises the very same members who were on such panels earlier. He cited Bangalore Poliltical Action Committee (BPAC) and Janaagraha.
“They sit in airconditioned rooms. They are not empathetic. They don’t understand the problems of the lower and middle classes,’’ he said.
After the 74th Constitution amendment, the government formed the Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC). But not a single meeting took place, he rued. “The new group will draw up and supervise the city’s plans, and sideline the MPC. A city’s plans should benefit its citizens and not an elite group,’’ he said.
A member of the Vijaynagar Welfare Association said citizens would find it difficult to even approach the group.
“Commoners can’t reach them. They are good at talking on the dais. If we hand our city to this group, I shudder to think what it will come to,’’ he said.
‘Making money from city and destroying it’
A N Yellappa Reddy, well-known environmentalist, said those making money from the city and destroying its environment were being given its reins. “They are producing e-waste without disposing it in a scientific way,’’ he said. “What is their contribution to the city?”
Enough laws exist to protect water, air, land and the environment. The government should develop the will to implement them, he urged.
“The members of the new vision group are industrialists. At Anekal and such other places, 250 lakes have died because of them. Let them revive the lakes they killed,’’ he said.
Tallam Dwarkanath, President of the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, defended the vision group.
“Bengaluru is growing bigger. It will help in getting better infrastructure for the city,’’ he said.
BJP MLAs Vijay Kumar and Suresh Kumar have said that the formation of the group proves that the Siddaramiah government “lacks any concrete vision for city development.”
“They have deliberately chosen to form a parallel group against the spirit of the Constitution. Its earlier avatar, the Bengaluru Agenda Task Force (BMTF), was formed during S M Krishna’ time, and failed to provide the desired results,” a statement from them says.