The proposed ‘Legislature Township’ for netas and employees of the Karnataka secretariat has become controversial with the residents of Kadugodi area opposing the move. They are citing a threat to the green cover in Whitefield, which is one of the most polluted areas in Bengaluru.
Residents said the proposed project would damage the green cover in Kadugodi plantation reserve forest. However, speaker of Karnataka legislative assembly KB Koliwad maintained that there was no plan to use the forest land. The identified land belongs to revenue department and has nothing to do with the forest land.
Koliwad told media, “The project is still in its conceptual stages. We had visited the area in Kadugodi, and it belongs to the revenue department, not the forest department. There is a requirement of 100 acres of land for the proposed project. We have asked the state government to hand over the land to Karnataka legislature. There is proposal to build the township on the lines of ‘Nyayagrama’ located near Hebbal, which houses residential buildings for judges. There is no proposal before us to use the forest land in the area.”
Vaibhav Jain, a Whitefield resident, said, “We demand that the state government shelve the township project in the proposed area. The identified portion was forest land in the 1960s and it was given to the villagers for farming purpose. KIADB (Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board) had acquired the land from the villagers later. Some of the identified land was recovered by the revenue department from encroachers, which initially was forest land. We are saying that instead of allowing the township, the land should be given back to the forest department to grow more greenery in the area. If the government shows some interest, the land could be used for a green space like Cubbon Park.”
Srinivas, another resident, said, “It is a fact that Whitefield is the most polluted area in the city due to the traffic congestion and high-rise buildings. Allowing a huge township at the cost of the environment is not right. If they want a township, let them identify some other area in the city. Our priority is to preserve the existing green cover in the city, not to go for a concrete jungle.”
There is a proposal to build residential bungalows for chairman of Karnataka legislative council and speaker of Karnataka legislative assembly. There is also a proposal to build residential quarters for the sitting legislators. There are 300 legislators in the state – 225 MLAs and 75 MLCs. There is a proposal for to also set up residential quarters of employees working in the secretariat. As the proposed township is to come up on a sprawling area of 100 acres of land, various other amenities are also likely to come up in the area.
At present, the legislators are provided residential accommodations at the Legislators Home, located adjacent to Vidhana Soudha. The legislators are provided accommodation (double room) for a rent of Rs 1,000 per month. In addition to room facilities, car on rental, gym, library and others facilities too are provided by the administration. The state government provides official bungalows for the speaker and chairman close to Vidhana Soudha.
Credits Bangalore Mirror