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Why stop at 250-storeys, Mr CM?

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EnvironmentGovernance

A world-class 200-250 storey building and a garden around it. That is what may come up on the Bangalore Turf Club land. Yeddyurappa envisaged this structure during the Vikasa Sanaklp Utsav.

“We have ordered Bangalore Turf Club to shift base. There is no need to hold races a stone’s throw away from Vidhana Soudha. We are thinking of having a 200-250 storey building, which will be world famous. The remaining space can be developed as a garden,” he explained.
    
The government has identified land on the outskirts and the Turf Club will have to move by December-end this year.

For the full text, which appeared in yesterday's TOI, please click         here

When earlier I read about the 45-storey complex being planned by BMTC at the Majestic bus stand (check        here       ), was when I first began feeling that namma Bengaluru was finally arriving on the international scene. Now, this is really going to take us right up there!

What makes a city international are not the achievements of its industry (Infosys, Wipro, Biocon, etc), or those of ISRO, or academic institutions like IISc, IIIT, etc. Those are all passe'. What really denotes a city's coming of age are its buildings, the taller the better, and along with it, the multitude of cars (don't we owe it to TATA's to give them some business, now that they have bought over Land-Rover and Jaguar?), wide roads, under/over-passes, fly-overs, elevated high-ways, and what have you.

Heritage, a few thousand trees are all old-world talk. We don't have time for all that. We are now a modern city, and heading to become numero uno. And, nothing is going to stop us! Jai Karnataka! Jai Bengaluru! Jai Yeddyurappa!

But, the question I would like to ask the CM avaru is why stop at 250? The tallest man-made structure presently is Burj Dubai, a skyscraper under construction in Dubai that reached 818 m (2,684 ft) in height on 17 January 2009. Now, at an average of 12 ft per floor, Bengaluru's pride is going to be 3,000 ft, which will then make it the tallest building in the world. But, the problem is that there are others in this world who are equally ambitious, and it will not be long before, we are again humbled by some upstart. So, why not take it to say 5,000 ft, which is going to take some doing to catch up?

PS: Some 'idiots' had the audacity to suggest all kinds of things in place of the race course - check       
here        . But, what the heck! Who wants any of  those kinds of regressive suggestions, anyway?

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

Disgusting taste!

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What a disgusting taste. Sir Ananda Coomaraswamy once famously remarked that nations are not made by it's businessmen or politicians, but by it's artists.

Even tough i am a BJP supporter, the honourable CM has lost his aesthetics! 

pdk's picture

Also, recently the CM was so

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Also, recently the CM was so moved by the plight of the Beggars Colony that he decided to move it out of his sight, to a 'better' place.  Link to the DH report.  His reasoning:  “Being in the centre of the City and worth around Rs 1,000 crore, the land can be used for various purposes. This would be decided in the next Cabinet meeting,”.

And the new Environment Minister has said that the environment won't be a stumbling block on the path to 'development'.

We have to take the path the 'developed' world took.  Later we'll see about the side-effects.
Arun's picture

no surprises...

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Nothing surprising...this is how this Govt is functioning

spry's picture

Karnataka Govt Achievement add all across India

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http://in.jagran.yahoo.com/epaper/index.php?location=10&edition=2009-06-02&pageno=15

Our CM has released full page add in most of the news papers across north india

for whom? by whom? on whose expenses? and for what reason we are seeing gross misuse of public fund


srinidhi's picture

not so soon..

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its also in news that the alternate land that has been allotted to the BTC is actually on a lake bed..and there are no env clearences for it yet..

btw whos gonna build the 250 stories?? who has the money?

Did anyone say..what happened to HSRL to airport?? 

BS...Y only talks and talks and talks..

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

SOS - PIL and a NO CONFIDENCE MOTION...

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 F*******C (Fantastic) ^&*(*&

After reading this, my BP has gone up.  I will come back for a comment later.  Interalia, once upon a time we had a Germal Ruler.... I will come back later.

If the Race Course is sitting on a lake bed, then it is all the more convenient to create a mini organic forest as contemplated in the link below:

http://bangalore.praja.in/discuss/forums/2009/04/race-course-being-shifted-great-public-opinion-needed-create-a-carbon

- Vasanth Mysoremath

s_yajaman's picture

Min 500 storeys needed!

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I would say we should go for a minimum of 500 storeys and settle the argument once and for all on the tallest building.  While we are at it we might as well have a cable car from the 500th floor to Nandi Hills.  

Let's see - the Burj Dubai has a footprint of 8000 sq,m  Our 250 storey building will need 10000 sq m as footprint at least.  Let's say it tapers off and we have an average footprint of 6000 sqm - or about 1.5 million sq m of floor space.  Say 40% loss and we still have 900,000 sqm of usable space.  If purely office space it can take 150,000 people.   Maybe that will be the size of the government that Mr.BSY is planning.

The Burj Dubai at one point was getting one floor every 3 days.  That's right.  One floor every 3 days.  We can go one floor every 3 months (especially if the BBMP is given the contract).   Construction can go on for 65 years.  And given their recent claim that they can't close every drain (accidents happen!) we can expect a few floors without windows.

I also propose we convert Cubbon Park into a Car Park (the environment can wait for a while)  for about 100000 cars (the basement of this building would have been converted to shops!).

Srivathsa

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

shamalakittane's picture

jokers !

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Wow ! thats it, the CM proves his ineptitude and we have to put up with the BJP government and its jokers for another 4 years and a half.

I have decided to invalidate my vote from the next elections onwards unless there is somebody really worth voting for..


namma_nadu's picture

our own tughlaq...way to go

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There is no need to hold races a stone's throw from vidhana soudha. How about wine shops, bars and clubs? is there a need to allow gambling and drinking at a stone's throw from vidhana soudha? and what about all those nefarious activities at LH? OK to move to the topic - 250 stories at race course..wow... and what will we do with the 250 floors. God knows if these guys are thinking (of the citizen's needs) when they mouth such crap. All that the CM & his ministers can think of - is what to do with the unlocked real estate in bangalore -- how to monetize them ? I was hoping that after the election circus, the CM & co will start focussing on infrastructure - bringing some semblance of governance to bangalore and the remaining districts of karnataka.  My 2 cents - pl. convert the entire area into a urban forest ( at best we can have a walkway /pathway around the place to ensure that it can act as a carbon sink for the overpopulated areas around. 

s_yajaman's picture

If they can't have bread let them eat cake

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So said the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.  And that seems to be the unstated policy of our govt here.

What? No pavements?  Don't worry we are building expressways.

What? No covers for drains?  We are constructing signal free roads. 

What?  No water supply?  We are building a 250 storey building.

Last year he announced some elevated expressways from Silkboard to Hebbal and from OM Road to Yeshwantpur.  No sign of that happening.  HSRL also - lots of noise no action.

This seems to be on the same lines.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

BSY is not an architect

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Give him a break. I am sure he hasnt spent enough time on SSC to know that those types of heights are unsustainable.  I think he is setting expectations and we have the right to tell him the idea is stupid. Let us start the negotiations there. There has to be a referendum on what people of Bangalore want in that space. Let the architects come out with ideas.

I think that space can be used for a building, but not all of it. We should get 80% of it to be an urban sink. While HU is busy fighting for the eucalyptus trees in lalbagh I am sure they will stop by for an agitation after the 249th (or n-1) floor has been built.

Out of 90 odd acres if we get 20 acres with a FAR of 4 we can build something with 324K Sqmtrs. 250 floors or not, you can still build a decently tall building with that much area to play, Probably 50 floors which is still tall enough for BLR and still get a lung space for the 70+ acres. A third of lalbagh.

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idontspam's picture

'fall' space

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 If BBMP/PWD is building that tall building we will anyway need space for it to fall when it rains. I bet it will be an ugly concrete monster because govt workers do not like spitting on steel and glass. They need maintainance free open to 'call-of-nature' buildings. Our city civil court is a marvel of PWD architecture. Worth a visit to learn engineering and construction practices.

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psaram42's picture

CM has a great responsibility and opportunity

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 CM Yediyurappa is in an enviable position of being the CM with such a beautiful real estate at his feet. He is in a position to take it forward so that the best use of this land is made for which he can claim the credit. I believe the reason he got the turf club ousted was for:-

1.      According to him a turf club had no business to be near the seat of power. (Many from Vidhana sowdha ended up there when he neaded them urgently)

2.      He wanted the place for government use

3.      The greed for accommodation needs for the seat of power is never satiated.

4.      He wants the place surrounded by serenity.

Now there is a need for Mr. Yediyurappa to consult with the most talented Architects on this globe to get the perfect design for his 250 story building. Whether 250 floors, what shape etc are million Dollar questions.

There will be enough space for greenery all round. Vidhana and Vikas soudhas and the new space have to be integrated well. The greenery at the Race course available can easily have a slim sky scraper of optimum height (To be arrived at with utmost care). Just Think of the power seat of our country at New Delhi. Of course Yeddi cannot compete at that scale.

Good Luck Mr. Yediyurappa. We are with you. We want the CM's Chambers at the top floor of this edifice, which you are planning. The garden around the edifice should be better than Lal Bagh, Mughal Grdens or whichever garden you want to go after. The best is the word!!!

PSA

flanker's picture

Not going to happen

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Not going to happen. If at all they construct a building, it will be 50 floors at the most. Or couple of smaller towers similar to Visweswaryah tower. Or lodging for MLAs, quarters for ministers and bureaucrats. And a park of course!! When Govt attempts making commercial hubs, they end up looking like BDA complexes.
Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

250 storeys story-planted by opposition to tarnish popularity...

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Dear All

    Please do not take 250 storeys story seriously.  Y Mr.BS would make such a monstro-city announcement?   He was only trying to feel the pulse of the people (kurigalu saar kurigalu) about such an announcement if it had been made by somebody. 

-  I have a feeling that he has been grotesquely misquoted by the Media and CMO should send out an addendum that the opposition parties have planted the 250 stories story. He is very much concerned about the rural poor and would not waste so much money for providing facilities for the rich and famous; moreover, he has sworn in the name of formers who are the back bone of Mr.BS-why?

- Vasanth Mysoremath

 

 

 

namma_nadu's picture

a garden with a view

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Apparently BSY and his close friend cum political foe Mr. Bangarappa have their personal residences off race course road. This leads me to suspect that there is more to this innocous sounding statement. Any thoughts?

abidpqa's picture

Too big

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Bangalore city needs at least a 50-storie building. If the city can do high tech jobs which are being outsourced to the city, why not have a real symbol of achievement. But i think it would be better to build five or ten 50-storie building and get some experience in construction and maintenance before going for a 200-storie building.

srkulhalli's picture

The circle has yet to turn

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While some are rightly outrage at the CM's apparent comment (one cant trust the media nowadays, as somebody rightly pointed out), I wouldnt be surprised if something like this finds the support of majority of Bangaloreans. The question is where you are in the circle of what we define progress.

I have read somewhere that China is building the city of the future and guess what, it will have no cars. The city will run on public transport, beautifull walking spaces et al. I thought we were already there 50 yrs ago. If somebody had suggested we need to block cars or the production of cars was a wrong focus 1/2 a century ago, he would have been ridiculed and considered backward, obstructionist, anti-development etc.

All those with cars and can afford cars push for better public transport, as in this forum. But the man on the bus is dreaming when he can own a car,

For eg: Bangalore airport. The biggest complaint was it was not big enough, not impressive enough, so miniscule compared to Shanghai. Did anybody really ask for, all we need is a small but efficient airport, just enough for our needs ??

When I had been to sweden, the senior manager we interacted with commutes to office by cycle. Man, we were all really impressed, really envied him (they actually have a cycle rack in office). Our gardner commutes daily on cylce, he really envies that I go around in a car.

To be honest, 15yrs ago, I would have wanted the biggest, tallest building to be in my city. The most complex flyovers, expressways, jazzy cars etc would have made be proud of this country. I never remember wanting better bus service to be the top priority, that would not make us world class, that will not tell the world India has arrived.

So depends on where you are. Until you have seen enough of it and are tired of it, you would measure yourself by what you dont have. Its very likely that a lot of people would be impressed by something like what the CM stated, and he is playing to Publics wishes.

Suhas

Suhas

idontspam's picture

Progress and construction

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The question is where you are in the circle of what we define progress.

It is an interesting question and is a larger issue. For India it is about raising per capita income along with keeping an eye on HDI and Sustainability. It is not an either-or scenario. 

'Progress' is to be able to catch up on Economic, Environmental and Liveability parameters and maintain it at levels that we are reasonably happy with. We are not anywhere on all 3 counts and in trying to increase one we are destroying the others. I remember a proposal on adding a happiness quotient to our measurement of progress. I am all for it.

We need to stamp our mark on planet earth and so far the only thing we have accomplished is overpopulation and increased people density. We are underbuilt for the population we have at the same time destroyed too much to service this population. But let us not believe that by disallowing a skyscraper we will have succeded in saving planet earth. Instead it is in ensuring enough offsets are garunteed for each unit of environment used for our self defined measures of prosperity.

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srkulhalli's picture

Ironically, skyscrapers are good for enviorement

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But let us not believe that by disallowing a skyscraper we will have succeded in saving planet earth

the denser we pack in the population, for a given population, the better it is for the enviorement. I dont have the reference to the study, but if we were to take the population of Bangalore and redistribute it evenly across the land avaialble in Karnataka, that would enviorementally disastrous.

Alternatively, if we take in all the population of Karnataka and pack it into Bangalore, we will be better off enviorementally, though bad for Bangalore of course. When we pack people, utilisation of resources gets far more efficient. Imagine constructing 1000 different houses spread over 10 sq km, with all the associated roads, drainiage, water supply, electricity lines as compared to putting it all in one building (kind of common sense)

Skyscrapers are good for the enviorement, though you and me dont want it in our backyard.

I am in agreement with you, except that happiness depends a lot on non-material factors as well (lot of people without access to the basic amenities are reasonably happy too). Maybe we should have a livability index. GDP is the wrong measure.

 

Suhas

Suhas

psaram42's picture

A very rational argument indeed

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 The points made by Suhas are very rational. An independent view though looking contrary to general belief is refreshing indeed.  

PSA

s_yajaman's picture

Brilliantly put

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Suhas,

Very well put.  Each of us has his/her idea of what a world class city is and what progress is.   Politicians (no matter what everyone has to say about them) are smart people.  They have a very good sense of what will get the votes.  So maybe the 250 storey building will find support.

I remember when I was 18 or 19 and living in HAL.  We could walk up to BEML and from there see the Bangalore CBD skyline .  And we used to wonder when it would start looking like New York or even Nariman point with lots of tall buildings, etc.  Before Raheja, Manipal and Mittal and Duparc Trinity, etc there were only two "skyscrapers" - PUB and Vishweshwariah Building and we used to lament that.  Then more of these buildings came up and we felt that we were finally "arriving".  In 1988 or 1990 there were about 80,000 cars in Bangalore and I used to wonder when our per capita car ownership would also reach American standards. 

There is a saying - 'be careful what you want, you might get it' :). 

As you have said, each of us is in a different point on the wheel of progress.   Is there any single definition of what progress is then?  Deeply interesting questions.   Someone in this forum can very well turn to me and say "It is all very well to preach the merits of public transport after you have had your fun driving a car for the last 20 years".  What do I say to him?

We will however have to put these discussions in the context of a growing population (is it already beyond the carrying capacity of this planet), climate change/AGW and peak oil.  Is our consumerism sustainable?  Is exponential growth for 100s of years really possible on a finite planet?   The truth (if politics every allows that) around these will determine our future course of progress.  Till now progress has only been seen in terms of possessing more and consuming more (resources ultimately).  I suspect that will change in the next decade or so or we and our children will pay a heavy price.  Sorry for sounding preachy.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

CM's office on the 250th floor..Energy minister cuts off power..

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Suhas/Srivatsa avare,

Your observations remind me of a famous vachana :

Umbalilladonige, umbuva chinte  (For a hungry man, his thoughts are overa few morsels of food)

Umbalu aadare, uduvaa chinte (after he gets some thing to fill his hungry stomach, his thoughts will move on to wearing some good cloths)

Udaloo aadare, iduvaa chinte (he gets some Peter England/Lee denims and then his thoughts will move on to amassing wealth)

Idaloo aadare, hendira chinte (he manages wealth, his thoughts will move on to sex)

hendiroo aadare, makkala chinthe ((he gets a wife and his thoughts will move on to children)

....... so goes on the Vachana till he plans to construct a 250 storey edifice.

-       I understand / misunderstand that two separate lifts will be reserved for Farmers who will be brought from all over Karnataka in Volvo/HoHo/big10/Small5 buses to give them a feeling of how to be in 'trishanku swarga' on the 250th floor and will be given a choice to commit suicide with an insurance policy in their pockets.

250 stroeys height of stupidity.  I wish the plan dies even before it reaches drawing board. 

-  CM Sir, first ensure a few pots of potable water and relieve the women folk in rural areas / parched draught prone areas, of their toruture since they are trudging 5 to 7 kms for precious elixir of life. 

- Vasanth Mysoremath

blrpraj's picture

s_yajaman, I agree with you

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s_yajaman,

I agree with you that each of us has his or her own idea of what a world class city is. From my

travel experiences to (which includes travel to even the remotest rural places in developed

countries) let me make an attempt to define what in my mind is a world class city what

facilities/parameters are an absolute must for a world class city

1) Law Enforcement - Be it traffic enforcement, building code enforcement, land use

enforcement to preserve greenery/lakes etc., or perhaps enforcement of road design etc,
... the buck starts and stops here since enforcement is the key and building block for rest

of the parameters.

2) Basic Infrastructure -
 
  a) good pedestrian & bycicle infrastructure like sidewalks, bike trails,  

    bike lanes etc.

  b) good road infastructure

  c) good public space infrastructure for recreation like parks&lakes.

  d) realiable supply of good quality - water & electricity

  e) a reliable and efficient drainage system with appropriate treatment

facilities to prevent dumping of raw sewage. Also, When I mention drainage..I am referring to

the sewer system that serves buildings as well as the storm water system serving the roads

and public places..with of course..proper segregation between the 2 systems.

                f) communication infrastructure - I am not sure what to write in this section

but I think we get the picture


3) Misc services

 a) Garbage collection & disposal - What else can be more important than this for a

"world class" city? Take one walk down any Indian city littered with garbage, filth, stones,

piles of mud, in some cases feces...you get the picture. A reliable and working system for

garbage collection and disposal is a key hallmark of a world class city.

 b) Emergency services - Prompt and reliable emergency services like fire

service,ambulance/paramedics & police. Incidents like the attack on Taj in Mumbai where the

fire could not be battled for 2 hours because of lack of availability of water OR delayed

response in the case of Jayanagar shopping complex fire in Bangalore are a testament to lack

of reliability of such services in our cities.

 e) Access to health care and education - this is open for debate. I went to a good

school and know many friends who did. Even in the absence of proper buildings and other

infrastructure quite a few people have made it big (probably by sheer grit and emphasis laid

on education by parents). We could do better on this front but I think many people have

access to good schools (I could be totally wrong on this). On healthcare front I am not sure

what to say but many people whom I know and familiar with this topic say that Canada and UK

have some of the most accessible, affordable and world class health care system+facilities

that is envied by the rest of the world.


 f) last but not the least good public transport alternatives..most US cities fail in

this respect and definitely European cities win hands down.


Of course, the above list is certainly not exhaustive but those parameters seemed to stand

out on my visits be it Seattle,LA,San Diego,NY,Vancouver,London,Cardiff,Amsterdam etc. where

no matter which country, I got some consistent experience of going into a clean, well planned

and orderly city with basic facilities. Sadly, the same cannot be said of our home country

India.
Coming back to the 250 floor proposed building, it could very well be a ill planned 250floor

building in a crumbling city without properly planned access roads, without proper building

codes & safety measures(in case of fire or earthquakes), or without proper evacuation

procedures. God help such a building and the people living in the immediate vicinity. In

Bangalore or most Indian cities an individual deserves a bravery award to walk on the roads.

Our cities fail on 95% of the above parameters I have listed for a world class city.

murali772's picture

Petition addressed to CM by eminent Bangaloreans

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Dear Shri Yeddyurappa,

As concerned citizens of Bangalore, we are disturbed by a recent news report quoting you on the possible use of the piece of land in the centre of the city hitherto occupied by the Bangalore Turf Club.  

According to the report, you envisage the construction of an exceptionally tall skyscraper on the land scheduled to be vacated by the BTC at the end of this year.  We wish to register our strong opposition to any such plan, which we believe will only exacerbate the many serious civic problems that have come to plague this city over the past decade.  

We are, in fact, surprised that you have proposed the construction of a 200-250 floor building in one of the few open spaces left in Bangalore, when just last month you had cited “pressure on traffic” as one of the reasons for the relocation of the race course (as recorded in newspaper reports on 15 May 2009).  Traffic congestion is sure to be greatly intensified by any multi-storey construction on the land, let alone a building of over 200 floors.

As you know, Bangalore’s population rose by over 60% between 1991 and 2001;  the next census is bound to register equally rapid population growth.  In contrast, lung space in Bangalore has not grown at all;  if anything, it has shrunk with the gradual reduction of the Green Belt and the take-over of lakes and tanks, wetlands and grasslands, not to mention agricultural land, both within the city and in surrounding areas.  

People, political leaders and governments across the world are increasingly recognizing the importance of urban green space not only for quality of life but for the very sustainability of cities.  Even congested cities like New York are finding creative ways to increase their green heritage.  The preservation and expansion of green space will do more for Bangalore’s global image than any skyscraper, however tall.

Against the norm of 10-16 Sq Mts per head of city population, Bangalore has only 2.82 in 2003, down from 5.32 in 1990.  Even Delhi has managed to keep 6.32 Sq Mts of open space per capita (2003). Your endeavour should be to improve the already low figure of Bangalore, if not match the world norm.

We urge you to consider the many options for the use of the soon-to-be-vacated land that will help improve access to lung space and quality of life in this city.  We would be happy to participate in any initiative to ensure that the shifting of the race course will help restore the long-standing and enviable reputation of Bangalore as a garden city.  

Looking forward to a positive response, we remain,

With kind regards,
P S Appu IAS (Ret), Ram Guha, Girish Karnad, S G Vasudev, Ammu Joseph, Dr Obaid Siddiqi, Shashi Deshpande, Dr Madhav Gadgil, Capt S Prabhala, Zafar Futehally

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Online petition

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A petition on the above lines can be accessed                 here              Do join the effort to see that one of the few remaining open spaces in the city is not lost. And circulate it to other Bangaloreans concerned not only about quality of life here but the very sustainability of the city.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

CC to MoEF

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 We should also send a copy of the petition to Jairam Ramesh, MoEF

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