Monday, August 03, 2009

Multi-storeyed tower questioned at Turf Club

Multi-storeyed tower questioned at Turf Club
Bangalore, DH News Service:

As the Yeddyurappa government goes ahead with its plans to shift the Turf Club outside the city, speculation is rife about the 100-floor tower being planned in its place.


The government maintains that it is planning to utilise only about 15 to 20 per cent of the Race Course premises for putting up the tower and maintain the rest of the area as park.

A bureaucrat said that subject experts at international level would be contacted before going ahead with the tower project. Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) would be seeking the opinion of the experts.

Provision will also be made for a huge vehicle parking lot, he added. Asked whether such a tall tower was required in the centre of the city, which is already choking with vehicular population, the officer said, We will maintain greenery in 80 per cent of the Race Course. We will plan the tower in such a way that it will not pollute the area in any way.

No traffic congestion

Even at Freedom Park (earlier Central Jail) we have allowed vehicle parking. But we are not facing any pollution or traffic congestion. But providing mere parking space at the one end and catering to needs of occupants of a 100-floor tower are drastically different.
Why is it imperative?

The primary question is why the State considers it imperative to build a monstrosity in the heart of the city, when it had clearly promised the citizens much needed lung space.
City activists are convinced that the State cannot resist the lure of capitalising on prime urban land.

Unrealistic planning

Chairperson of Indian Urban Spaces and Co-founder of Janaagraha, Swathi Ramanathan asks Why should the State act as a real estate developer? First of all, the plan is unrealistic and the place like that would stick out like a sore thumb.

There is no transparency in the decision making process of the government. It is their responsibility to be transparent about making such plans in prime urban space. And where is the money going? Is it going to be ploughed back into the city’s development?
The silence of an agency like Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development Task Force (ABIDe) in this matter has raised hackles of many. Col Mathew Thomas of Citizens Action Forum is scathing in his comments.

Ridiculous tower

What are they doing when the CM goes around announcing plans like this? Their silence exposes the kind of organisation they are.

Why do you need such a ridiculous tower there? They should be converting it into a good lung space.

If the advisors of this Task Force cannot tell him that it isn’t a good idea and merely adhere to this statements, then the Task Force itself is a publicity stunt and waste of public funds. The whole idea is just motivated by greed, he observed.

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