Wednesday, June 16, 2010

There's no space left for Bangalore's lateral growth

There's no space left for Bangalore's lateral growth

The built up area is six times that of the city, a study has revealed

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore



Go vertical, save the green belt, say commissioners of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), who together are writing to the government requesting that henceforth no green land be acquired for real estate, and permit high rises.
The built up area of the city has increased by 47% in just two years. A recent study by the Indian Institute of Science's Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) reveals that Bangalore has overshot its capacity. The study titled 'Greater Bangalore, emerging urban heat island' states that the built up area here was 632% with 79% loss of vegetation and 78% loss of water bodies. Speaking to DNA, Dr TV Ramachandra of the Energy and Wetlands Research Group, CES, said that two years ago, the built up area was 428%, with a 58% loss of water bodies and 65% vegetation.
Built up area is the total area used for construction of any building. Data since 1973 was analysed and it was found that Bangalore had crossed its development limits. "The government should know that there are no further resources to develop the city," Ramachandra said.
Credai CEO D Srinivasan said that some years ago his organisation had proposed to save lung spaces by going vertical, and was glad that the government was doing so now.
An IISc expert involved in the study said on condition of anonymity that growth was lopsided in the city, with concentration on south Bangalore two years ago; and now the focus was shifting to areas near the international airport.
BDA commissioner Siddaiah told DNA that it was important to meet housing demands and also save land. "Agricultural land cannot be exploited any more as food resources will be affected," he said.
BBMP commissioner Bharat Lal Meena added that apartments could be modelled on the lines of those of the Delhi Development Authority — "good quality and affordable".
Environmentalist Suresh Hebliker said that rising food prices and food scarcity should make the government realise the importance of agricultural lands. Investments decided during the Global Investors Meet would gobble about 1,000 acres of agricultural land for development. He added that if the government was aiming at vertical growth, it should make apartments affordable and give serious thought to the proposed satellite towns at Bidadi, Magadi, Ramanagaram and Nelamangala to decentralise Bangalore.

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