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Policies and Practices 58
 

Social Impact of the City Planning Machinery (Case Study of Road-Widening in Bangalore)

Road-widening is among the last of the big projects that remains under BBMP, Bangalore’s municipal body. Widening the road is touted as a ‘sure to succeed’ intervention to decongest the city for smooth vehicular movement. In 2009-10 road-widening was promoted by the BBMP with an innovative compensatory model - the Transfer of Development Rights or TDR, which is the focus of this paper’s study. The TDR scheme resulted in many street level protests across Bangalore by those whose properties were earmarked for demolition to widen roads. Focusing on three roads - Tannery Road, Infantry Road and Dr. Rajkumar Road, this paper reflects on the technically driven policies and regulatory frameworks by various state apparatus’ which often do not consider the reverberations these may have on the socio-economic fabric of the city. In the race to make cities comparable to London, Singapore or Shanghai, certain processes are set in motion, which aim making cities like Bangalore efficient and competitive megacities, therefore becoming a magnet to attract huge capital investments from abroad and create dividends for ‘all’ through a trickledown effect and ease the state’s financial burden. This paper argues that these valuable funds are better invested in improving the basic infrastructure in the severely deficient parts of the city regions like Tannery road, Lingarajpuram, Peenya and Avenue Road among others, all earmarked for widening. It is important that public policies for city planning and economic development first closely understand the micro level impact policies can have and how the dynamics of such policies will unfold, before deciding on interventions.

   Essay by Sanam Roohi
 

 
       
  Policies and Practices 57
 

The Religious Nature of our Political Rites

 

Essay by Ranabir Samaddar