A careful scrutiny of the Draft Revised Master Plan–2031 shows that the Existing Land Use (ELU) data is riddled with cartographic errors, which are likely derail the land use policy of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).
To add to the confusion, the master plan’s Proposed Land Use (PLU) makes projections that do not add up, with no explanation for how the figures were arrived at. Many attempts by The Hindu to get clarifications from BDA officials over the last three days failed.
Citizens and experts studying their Local Planning District maps have pointed out the cartographic errors. “Just in a walking-distance radius of my house in Langford Town, at least eight roads have not been shown in the ELU maps. If this plan is approved as it is, properties can gobble up these roads. Several parks have also not been shown,” said V. Ravichandar, a member of the BBMP Restructuring Committee.
Nagaraj Reddy, former president of CREDAI-Karnataka, said several areas where the BDA had approved development plans are now shown as open spaces.
The ELU and PLU maps have been uploaded as PDF files, making it difficult for citizens to search for information and give feedback on land use in their area. “Instead of PDF files, the maps must be superimposed as layers on a GIS-enabled base map, like Google Maps, and made available online for better feedback,” said Mr. Ravichandar.
Where’s the land?
When a city’s area for development increases, it automatically eats into the agricultural belt that encircles the urban sprawl.
While the PLU has increased the area of land to be developed to accommodate the growing population by 80 sq. km, there is no reduction in agricultural area. Instead, it has been shown to increase by over 22 sq. km with no explanation.
There is no explanation as to where the BDA will get 80 sq. km for urban sprawl expansion, say experts. R. Ramesh, a property consultant, said the BDA area and the Bengaluru Urban district figures don’t tally, in effect showing additional land that does not exist.
Furthermore, the ELU keeps the forest area to 27.53 sq. km while the PLU shows a decimated forest cover with only 5.7 sq. km. For any forest area to be be removed of its tag, the State government has to denotify the land. The BDA has no jurisdiction over it.