V Ravichandar, Civic Expert and Thinker anchored an Heritage Beku informal discussion on the big RumPumPum on the RMP31. The 2 YouTube Links are below. Moderated by Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, there were several questions and gray areas that really need to be addressed. The on-off-on again discussions have left many of us citizens confused and concerned. First and foremost, who is the right authority to do this? The last time the RMP went into layers of legalese and was finally dismissed by the court, then strangely resurrected by BDA and now once again seems to be buried.
From a statutory point of view, the two focus area seem to be land-use and the development control regulations or DCR popularly referred to as a Zonal regulations. What is the concern is that it is not binding on any agency only recommendatory and advisory in nature so BMTC, BMRCL or even BWSSB while nodding in agreement, will do exactly what they want.
Some of the areas of evaluation metrics is the planned land-use versus the existing land-use or PLU and ELU. The existing land-use use is an important metric because at least there’s a direction in terms of which we are going. We may achieve a portion of it on but it’s a long term approach.
Let us not forget that heritage found a new 40 page mention in the RMP31, a considerable move forward from the three pages of the RMP 2015. There are so many more elements to be considered particularly transportation & BMRCL etc is a very large player.
Could the change now mean that instead of an RMP 15, we have an RMP 30 or even an RMP50 ? Reality is that comprehensive planning for the city have not really worked outz From the comprehensive development plan or CDP 1990, there seems to be three decades of a ground experience to show how little it has impacted. As a very basic metric, look at the fact that open spaces were at 25% of the city in 1995 and are now down to 4% in the current plan – something is clearly not right.
In order for this to work all agencies must participate and must have skin in the game. Citizens must really participate along with relevant agencies in order to have a user need articulation. Strangely these Master Plan has not embraced an intangible but critical part of the city ethos which is sustainability and environment or strategized on the spatial plan, focus on building blocks, or working on a base GIS map as a common resource across all departments. Of course this map has increased in layers and better Technology in the last few years. We need to mark off communication, clearly assume assume megaprojects that have to be accounted within the RMP and so Newbie drive excellent inter-departmentality, and integration.
With the current stand off on the BBMP elections, the authority for the RFP, namely the MPC is even further away, as the BBMP elections have to happen, and then the election or nomination into the MPC has to happen, so we can expect further delays. This is worrying to say the least , as until then a 2015 Plan is in control!
However what is critical is to focus on goals and guiding principles. What do we want to achieve and what is inviolable. These will have to be built-in to the RMP. For example concepts and planning fundamentals on cities being built in - whether it is metrics for goals on water and air quality, livelihoods, the concept of a 5 km live and work city etc. Without this level of strategic planning, we get too transactional. A Strategic Spatial Plan is what is really needed .
From a heritage perspective, we need to start with the basics. First we need to collectively accept heritage as important, and therefore heritage as a goal. Given the fact that heritage overlaps on BBMP, BRD and several other institutions, cohesive collaboration is a must. For example the current changes in the Town & Country planning act have certain indications, whereas the BBMP new Act has a slightly different view on city heritage. This has to come together - in this case people participation with subgroups on drafting, consultative approach ensuring that this is kept in mind as a layer across the planning process is critical.
All the work that has gone into the previous revised master plan should certainly be kept as a foundation to build forward, but this time with more granularity more clear outcomes in a definitely clear path to what needs to be done actively achieve it. The reality and need for Self-funded development is an aspect that we also have to layer in to the RMP
In addition, while we had Heritage Beku should begin to call on the stakeholders namely the chief minister, chief secretary, head of UDD, BDA and the BBMP Commr, it is important to do so with the collective city angle Looking at all spaces rather than just heritage (which of course we specially own). Perhaps this is a good opportunity for us to leverage our small learnings, our passion and heritage focus to look at a better planning frame work for the city that is so beloved to us.
https://youtu.be/k8ZevNGOmgY Part 1
https://youtu.be/AziFKUsiDKk Part 2