Saturday, May 08, 2010

Layouts that won't lie low anymore

Layouts that won't lie low anymore

There will be more housing units on offer for Bangaloreans if government accepts the BDA proposal to turn new layouts into integrated townships; the buildings could extend up to five storeys high, and the township could be planned to be self-sufficient, reports Rohith BR

Rohith BR

If H Siddaiah, commissioner of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), has his way, the city will grow upwards. And new layouts will be self-sufficient. Among the first layouts to be planned with these criteria in mind would be the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout in the Mahadevapura constituency.
"We will make a presentation to chief minister BS Yeddyurappa in a few days. We can't go on expanding the limits of Bangalore, consuming more and more land. Somehow, we need to put a cap," said Siddaiah on Friday. Look at the details of Siddaiah's plans, and you will see that the way layouts are formed will undergo a sea change.
Under the new model, the BDA proposes multi-storey structures, which could extend up to five floors in height. The different blocks planned would be meant for different categories of home-seekers, based on economic status.
"In the present layout model, one acre of land can be converted into five sites. Under the new model, we could allot one acre of land to 30 people," said a senior BDA official. He added that the new model would involve planning a whole host of amenities, going beyond the provision of electricity, roads, water connections and drainage.
"The new layout will be like building a whole township, it will have dedicated space for ponds, large playgrounds, and commercial activities, so that it is self-sufficient and can offer an enhanced quality of life to residents," a BDA official said. A BDA expert added that an integrated garbage management system, waste water recycling, and a dual piping system would all be part of the plan of the new layout model being proposed.
Asked about the quality of construction, which many hold is poor when the government erects a structure, Siddaiah offered examples of superior-quality construction work conducted by the Karnataka Housing Board in the recent past. He also said that the new model of the layout would be constructed in public-private partnership.
Town planner Manjunath KN, however, is among the sceptics: "The very idea of owning a house comes with individual sites, and these are what people wish to own. Also, people have a dream about how a house should be built, how it should look." He added, however, that if the quality of government construction improved, and if it matched private townships, people may just accept the idea of a readymade home.
Asked about the supply of water to new townships in the wake of the falling levels of water in the city, a BDA official said, "The BWSSB has promised supply of water to the Greater Bengaluru region by 2011. With the completion of the Cauvery Fourth stage, Second phase, an additional 500 million litres of water would be made available per day. However, we can't depend on BWSSB water supply alone. Techniques like water recycling and rain water harvesting will all form part of the new model," he said.
BDA officials said that the housing problem in the city could be better addressed if the new proposal is accepted; the BDA is also planning five new layouts. New layouts, under the proposal, could be constructed without displacing large numbers of farmers.


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