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Urban Development Policy of GoK

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Urban DevelopmentEverything elseGovernance

The GoK has released a draft Urban Development policy for Karnataka on 14.11.2009 for public comments and inputs. The same may be accessed here. The period for inputs ends on 15.12.09. Surprisingly, it has come the attention of the civil society only now.

It is not mentioned in the report which organisations, groups from different parts of the state were consulted prior to developing this policy or even if any meetings were held for the same.

An interaction meeting to discuss this has been convened by a group of citizens comprising Selva R Issac (Slum Janadolana), Gururaj Budhya (URC), Vinay Sreenivasa, Kshitij Urs, Kevin Noronha, Vinay Baindur and many others who met contributed to the process during Nov- Dec 09, on 12th December 2009 Saturday in Bangalore (Time: 09.30 a.m.-2.30 pm; Venue : Gandhi Samrak Nidhi, Ganndhui Bhavan, Kumara Park.

We in PRAJA can possibly thrash it out here, and hope that Dr Ravindra and Dr Ashwin Mahesh will take note of them.

Muralidhar Rao


murali772's picture

some observations

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Says all the right things - nothing earth-shaking though! Some points that caught my attention (on a cursory reading), along with my comments on them, are as below:

1) land acquisition by the KIADB should also be made only in consultation with the municipal or planning authorities, and not in isolation - no talk of adequate/appropriate compensation; no mention of TDR

2) Local bodies must be made responsible for responsible for water supply, and KUWS&DB as well as BWSSB should be suitably re-structured to work on capacity creation in the cities - the question is how?

3) The role of the private sector in urban water supply needs to be examined carefully - being very diplomatic, and nothing has been heard recently about the Mysore-Jusco deal

4) waste management of human excreta, but also the management of larger public health issues linked to this - must be the responsibility of the local bodies. Toilets must be provided to every home in all urban areas, and a target date fixed to achieve this - I don't know if it would be feasible to provide a toilet for every home. And, there's no mention of public toilets. On this, my suggestion would be as detailed here

Muralidhar Rao
n's picture

Urban policy

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The policy was mentioned in newspaper articles here and here. Extracts below:
Taking a leaf out of the Centre’s JNNURM, the state government has chalked out a plan to launch the Karnataka Urban Renewal Mission (KURM) for infrastructure development of tier II and tier III cities.

Besides, the government has proposed to bring in a slew of reforms in the administration of urban local bodies (ULBs).
They include scrapping of all urban development authorities, re-structuring bodies such as water supply boards, introduction of direct election of mayors and extending mayors’ term to five years, rationalisation of tariffs for various services, encouraging public-private partnership in infrastructure development and simplification of procedures for acquisition and purchase of land for public purposes.

Significantly, the plans do not apply to Bangalore.

The proposals are part of the draft Urban Development Policy 2009, released by Urban Development Minister S Suresh Kumar, here on Friday.
But the policy prepared by the adviser to the chief minister on urban development, A Ravindra, states that the recommendations of the expert (Kasturirangan) committee report on urban governance can be implemented for Bangalore.

{source DH 2009-11-13}


The State government has invited suggestions and objections on the draft of the first Urban Development Policy of the State which will be placed before the Cabinet for approval next month, said Urban Development Minister S Suresh Kumar.
Speaking at a meeting of people’s representatives at the Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) hall here on Monday, the minister said the draft of the policy will be finalised during the one-day workshop for mayors, municipal corporation commissioners, presidents and commissioners of City municipal councils, and chairpersons and commissioners of urban development authorities to be held in Mysore on December 4.
{source DH 2009-11-30}

Confusing part the first article mentions Bengaluru city is excluded whereas the draft summary includes the city? Also, seems like it might have been already finalized on 2009-12-4. The summary is most likely based on ABIDe and Kasturirangan reports. Hope they implement the long overdue reforms soon; the overlap in responsibilities, confusion, non-coordination, lack of powers are some of the important reasons for the messy state of affairs and people end up complaining about the most visible govt. body though the body's hands may be tied to a large extent.

sanjayv's picture

What is this policy?

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 I read through the whole document in 15 minutes.  Does the word summary mean there is a more detailed document?  Why can't these documents clearly state authorship, date, purpose, scope and next steps.  This is just another joke of a document that states some fairly obvious facts in 16 pages.

silkboard's picture

Sanjay - 104 pages now

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Just started reading this, went in fully biased by Sanjay's previous comment which suggests that this is a 16 page short document with usualy airy fairy obvious stuff.

Page #5 - This is a nitpick, but significant one to me. comment about Bangalore Metro region (BMR) becoming disproportionately too large is valid (Hubli region, second largest urban region is 1/6th the size of BMR). But the same paragraph has the disappointing closing line "... without sacrificing interests of the capital". I am sorry sir, but if urban policy of state will try to balance Bangalore wrt to other urban regions, we can never get rid of the heavy imbalance that you guys have created.

Page #9 ("New approach ..") has a promising line. "Urban Development authorities may be abolished ... transferred to MPCs and DAPs.

Page #10 - Talk of yet another policy - Urban Land Policy. Why talk of letting MPCs and DPAs plan their local areas, and a Karnataka wide Land Use policy as well? In general, MPCs and DPAs need goals to be measured against, and not reams and reams Policy Guidelines to adhere. Without a structure to enforce Land Use regulations, all Land Use Policies will fail, new or old. At least for Bangalore, I would argue that whatever we have is good enough, and I would chase enforcements and not perfection of policies.

Page #12. Was excited to see this paragraph on water - "... focus on conservation is needed so that the available water is put to the best use". I hoped that there would be talk of a regulatory authority for water conservation/management. No mention in this paragraph though. Focus of the draft would most likely remain on water supply and not water production (since you can't make water, production = conservation).

Thus far, the introductory section, talks all good and obvious things. Lets jump to deeper parts of the document to look at some concrete suggestions.

Page #16 - mention of KURM for the state on the lines of JNNURM.

Page #17 - perhaps the best summary page of this 104 page draft. 20 action points mentioned. Some obvious ones, but some big items

  • #8 - dissovle BDAs, MUDAs etc, and pass power to ULB
  • #4 - talk of regional development plan, but no mention of who should do it. I assume this would be done by State Urbanization Committee (point #1).
  • #9 - new Land Use Policy. No need, leave it to MPCs/DPAs. Such policy is counter intuitive to theme of decentralization.
  • #14 - Services Regulatory Authoriity seems like a very good idea, look fwd to knowing more about this.
  • #17 (promote transparency ... citizen particiipation) is an example of the worst kind - a generic meaningless line without any specific action recommendation. Perhaps tells you that the line was a late minute addition for consumption of people like you and me. I would expect some concrete egovernance initiative to share more information with citizens, that is a necessary pre-step for transparency as well as citizen participation. Anyway.
  • #18 and #20 cover capacity building side (need more trained people for urban governance functions)

One big miss was talk of Financial structure. May be the draft talks about it in later pages, but guidelines on devolution of funds to ULBs are important. Also missed is some high level action suggestion on environment matters. Environmental aspects are not a small deal anymore, citizens tend to see these as big issues, and clash betweeen the greens and urban projects is increasingly going to be causing delays. Some clear guidelines for preventing such clashes would be good.

Will continue reading it. So far, this definitely seems like a good document, with decent number of non-obvious and large sized concrete ideas.

silkboard's picture

Continued ...

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Well, I do know that all this won't reach the policy writers in time. But no problem. Actually, I would leave policy making to the experts. I am not one. And while nobody can produce a perfect one (which all readers and reviewers will like 100%), but they all can write a good enough one.

Anyway, continuing to waste 30 more minutes of my lazy saturday ...

Page 27 (Section 3.7 - Infrastructure gaps)) onwards, interesting to note that Urban Transport is listed last (point #e). Points are note listed alphabetically (water supply is point #a, deservedly the first one), but perhaps tell you that the writers focus on roads first, mobility later. Nitpicking, but worth a note.

Page 33 (section 3.9). Excellent to note that Environment Challenges have been highlighted separately.

Page 35 (section 3.11). Blurb on resources seems weak. Talk of how much is needed, but no highlights on current gaps in ways of gathering and distributing financial resources.

Page 40 - 48. Motherhood talk of urban development strategy. I think the section is written to list down inputs collected from all tangential angles (tourism, agriculture, indistrial development, economic development goals etc). Good readin, but looks like urban development policy is trying to touch too many things.

Lets keep reading.

The real stuff begins from chapter 6, page 49.

Finished my 30 free minutes, will continue this reading on next opportunity. comment guidelines

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