Urban development bill will further reduce green cover…

In a market where builders and layout developers do not want to lose out on any opportunity that allows them to build more at the cost of the green cover, here is the best that the government could dole out.

One of the key contents of the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities Bill which talks about reducing the area reserved for parks and open spaces in residential layouts and mid-segment apartments, may be a win-win situation for government and builders, but the consumers will get to see more of concrete and less of lung space.

As per the bill, the area reserved for lung spaces has been brought down to 10 per cent from the current 15 percent; and the area reserved for civic amenities is reduced from the current 10 per cent to five per cent.

In fact, the move is not anything new in the realty sector. As a prelude to this new Bill, the BBMP in 2014 had issued an order wherein the builders could either choose to save the mandatory 10 per cent space or build to the maximum by paying an equivalent guidance value of that space as a development fee.

This order was to benefit residential flats on land less than 2,15,280 sq feet and commercial buildings on plots less than 1,29,168 sq ft.

While it was a win-win situation for both the builder and BBMP, property buyers were at the receiving end as they would have had to live in a community with more built up space and less of green and lung space.

The civic authorities had planned to use this development fee to purchase more space in areas that lack parks and develop greenery.

However, this move will not go down well with a large section, especially when lung space and greenery are becoming a casualty of the infrastructure and transportation projects.

“Many countries and cities are beginning to see this as an opportunity and working on repurposing their cities for emergent needs keeping in mind the carrying capacity and aesthetics. Bengaluru has in the process of growing has failed miserably to understand its carrying capacity and improve this capacity. This legislation will further aggravate the pollution levels in the city by largely reducing the last few open spaces that is still keeping the city alive. Time to rechristen our city as concrete jungle and we will only find our once garden city in coffee table books, post cards and our memories,” says Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation.

Bangalore Political Action Committee has strongly objected to the silent passing of the Bill without discussion or debate. BPAC raised rallying points that the moniker of ‘Garden City’ is becoming a bit ironical in a city fast losing its parks and playgrounds to illegal encroachments. Moves such as this legislation are the first step towards a slow demise of the public park culture of the city. Surreptitious encroachments on civic amenity spaces and public parks in BDA layouts have been a recurring trend across Bengaluru for some time now. This legislation will legitimize the reduction of these spaces in favor of commercial interest.

Shrinking green space
As per the bill, the area reserved for lung spaces in state has been brought down to 10 per cent from the current 15 per cent; and the area reserved for civic amenities has been reduced from the existing 10 per cent to five per cent.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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