BENGALURU: In order to counter bribery allegations made by BJP that the Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2031 was drafted by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) in a hurry, the government has now decided to invite objections and suggestions for one more month. A letter from the urban development department on Friday merely said that the public could now file their objections and suggestions to the plan for one more month. It has also set up a new five-member committee comprising former bureaucrats and top officials to re-scrutinise all the 13,067 applications submitted so far by the public, and the new ones that will be filed as well.
Confirming the receipt of the letter, a senior government official said the new committee would comprise of retired Chief Secretary BS Patil, former BBMP and BDA Commissioner H Siddaiah, Member Secretary of Town Planning Department L Shashikumar, BDA Commissioner Rakesh Singh and urban expert RK Mishra. The draft of the RMP 2031 was made public on November 25, 2017 and the deadline for responses was January 23, 2018. The team constituted to review the objections comprised of BBMP projects’ special commissioner, additional director of BDA, director of BMRDA, director of town planning and joint director of the master plan.
“After scrutinising each one of the 13,067 applications, the team submitted a report to Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (BMRDA). The final master plan can be released only after cabinet approval. However, due to allegations made by opposition parties, the state government decided to constitute a fresh team and reassess everything,” the official said.
At a press meet on January 9 this year, BJP General Secretary Aravind Limbavalli and BJP spokesperson Ashwathnarayan had raised numerous suspicions over the master plan and insisted they would scrap it if elected to power. “In the name of environment protection, good transport system, better planning, the RMP’s intention is to take away agricultural land from farmers and help builder-promoters and the real estate lobby,” they charged. A BDA official said public too wanted more time to file objections, he said.
BDA sources confirmed that a new committee has been set up. Asked to specify the deadline for public responses now, a BDA official said it would be announced soon.
Backgrounder of Masterplan 2031
It is meant to serve as a blueprint to plan the city for the next 15 years. The Revised Master Plan 2015 (2005-15) is the one being followed presently. It was supposed to be ready by March 2017. But due to delay in readying the draft because of the need to carry out exhaustive verification as well as rely on satellite imagery to complete it, the draft was only released on November 2017. The final report was supposed to be out by May /June of 2018. It is now set to be delayed further as the responses have to be re-examined and the committee needs to ready another report for approval. BDA officials refused to give a deadline when the plan would now get readied.