Congested Bengaluru going China way; green cover reduced in Karnataka capital

City green cover reduced by 88 per cent; 79 per cent decline in water bodies
Congested Bengaluru going China way; green cover reduced in Karnataka capital

BENGALURU: Best to live away from Bengaluru South, Whitefield, Mahadevapura zone and Peenya, the most congested parts of Bengaluru. Besides, the city’s growth is now being compared to China’s Wuhan and Beijing.

According to IISc report ‘Micro-level analyses of environmentally disastrous urbanisation in Bengaluru’, released on Monday, the city is choking and going the China way.

Prof TV Ramachandra of the Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc, and co-author of the paper, told TNIE that for the first time, an analysis of the city’s area-wise growth shows that while areas like Whitefield, Bengaluru South and Peenya are the most congested, Sadashivanagar, where the influential and elite stay, is well-planned. He said this shows the apathy of the government and calls for proper planning.

The implications of unplanned growth at the micro-level of Peenya Industrial Estate (PIE), Whitefield (WF) and Bangalore South Region (BSR) reveals a decline in vegetation and open spaces, and intense urbanization of 86.35% (in BSR), 87.39% (PIE) and 81.61% (WF) in 2017. Peenya also became the single largest urban jungle from 2003 to 2017.

The report ‘Analysis of Urban Dynamics from 1973 to 2017’ revealed a 1028 per cent increase in urban areas, 88 per cent decline in green cover and 79 per cent decline in water bodies.

“Bengaluru is one of the highest contributors to the country’s GDP, so proper planning at this stage will ensure that the city does not head the China way. Mumbai, despite its fast-paced growth rate, continues to have 32-35 per cent green cover, but Bengaluru has only 5 per cent now. While development in West Bengaluru is slowly picking up pace, North Bengaluru (areas towards KIA), despite having no groundwater, is moving the Whitefield way,” he said.

The report is part of the Asia Central Climate Change assessment being done, and in India, Bengaluru and IISc were chosen for the study.

Even as development and construction works are happening, planning can be altered. “It is not good to have everything in Bengaluru. Karnataka needs a second state capital and government administration needs to be divided. The plan to create five satellite townships is only making Bengaluru bigger, and the problem will continue. There is a need to make Belagavi the second capital of Karnataka. People from North Karnataka come to Bengaluru for employment and are often forced to live is shanties, leading to more congestion in the city."

“Instead of development, government working and planning needs to be divided,” he added.

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