The Mysore Master Plan 2031 has drawn flak for its failure to draw from the best practices and similar plans of other cities.
At a recent meeting convened by the Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) to discuss the plan with a cross-section of citizens, it was said that the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and SAI Consultants, who prepared the plan, had failed to meet the basic objectives of the Country and Town Planning Act: to provide civic and social amenities, to prevent uncontrolled development of land driven by speculation and profiteering, and thus ensure environmental health.
Learning from others
Stakeholders wondered if the master plan incorporated lessons learnt from a well-planned city such as Chandigarh, or even Bangalore’s garbage issues.
The claims of the authorities that there was plenty of water to meet future needs of the city was hotly debated, given the acute water crisis in different parts of the city. Bhamy V. Shenoy of the MGP pointed out that neither the Education Department nor the University of Mysore, or the Karnataka State Open University offered their inputs to the master plan.
“It is obvious [that] our schools and colleges are crowded, and lack playgrounds and toilets. Yet, our planners still felt there was no need to reserve land for educational facilities,” Mr. Shenoy said.
However, the aspect of the plan that caused most concern pertained to the conversion of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. As of 2009, permission had been given for conversion of 12,168 hectares of agricultural land for development purposes. The MGP has decided to intensify its campaign against the plan. “The only purpose of the master plan was to develop a legal document that would allow the land mafia to monetise huge land holdings. All the bells and whistles, which give the impression of a grandiose plan was to mislead the government,” the MGP said.