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Wanted - park/lung space in whitefield area

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Environment

Amidst the barrage of not to this and no to that posts, here is an "I need this" instead. Whitefield has seen relentless concretization in last 4-5 years. Nice roads, the best pavements, tech parks, and housing complexes. But life is not all about living, commuting and working. We need to play, mingle around and relax as well. For that, need some serious public space, or a large new park.

Center of the city has plenty of these, but it takes too much time to go to Cubbon Park or Lalbagh or Freedom Park now. Whitefield area has a few lakes, and new recreational amenities can be developed around a few of those. We know that a large park will not bring any white or black money to BBMP or BDA, and that is probably why concrete is the flavor of the decade in Bangalore. If you live around Whitefield, leave your comment with words of support, and we will figure how to take this request forward with local corporators or MLA or BBMP/BDA.

Possible locations? No idea on ownership of these parts yet, but here is the wild-wish aka I-am-smoking-pot list. I just went by the logic that anything around lakes that doesn't seem to be cultivated, or doesn't yet have construction activity happening on it may still be with some govt body. Also, remember that google maps may not have the latest imagery.

"Suspect" spots around lakes in central/south part of Whitefield sub urban area (red circles):

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Some more "suspect" spots, on the north side (red circles):

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None of this is large enough. Wish we will get a huge park as part of the BDA layout that is being planned south of Varthur lake, somewhere, in or around the red circle below:

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AttachmentSize
lake valuation.PDF1.86 MB

Comments

idontspam's picture

Concretization=revenue

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 We know that a large park will not bring any white or black money to BBMP or BDA, and that is probably why concrete is the flavor of the decade in Bangalore.

I think you have pointed out one of the root causes. If real estate is the only revenue earner for the city it will only look to increase it. Monetarily we should move to a federal model where state taxes are paid separately on income directly to the state, this will incentivise the govt to create jobs.

sanjayv's picture

Concur on this one

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Absolutely agree that we need a park in this part of town.  This was something I was thinking of myself fairly recently.  The only park that I know of and visit occasionally is in the Whitefield inner circle.  It is a smallish park, but nice.

A key question is the size that one would want to talk about.  How big should said park be?  If you look around, there is plenty of open land (privately owned) which still do not have concrete around it.  The other big problem here are these large gated developments and not enough interior roads.  Another thing that BBMP/ BDA has been extremely remiss on, but that is the subject of another post.

My other demand for this area is a decent playground.  Parks are nice, but where do kids play with a ball.?  Again, these spaces are also fairly limited in this part of town.  One in Whitefield inner circle and one shrinking one in AECS layout (in which BBMP keeps building new structures and shrinking the play area) are the two I am aware of.

The Mahadevapura Agenda Task Force (RK Mishra) minutes I saw from couple of years back had some of these listed.  Would be interesting to know what is happening there.

Another tidbit of info is that BBMP has a "nursery" somewhere in Mahadevapura.  Is there enough adjoining land to make the nursery into nursery cum park?

ashwin's picture

'Gated' Community parks & grounds are accessible to all, by law

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The so called "gated" communities that prevent you from using their road or parks are doing so illegally. When a private layout is created (which is what they were called before they started putting walls around them), to get BDA approval, the have to set aside minimum percentages of land for Roads, Civic Amenity and Recreation sites. I don't remember off hand the percentages, I think it is between 15 - 25% for CA + Recreation.

These sites are then required to be handed over to the BDA. Later the developer gets permission from the BDA to plant/beautify  the gardens etc. In the case of Civic Amenity sites, the builder has to actually buy back the site from the BDA if he wants to use it for a club house - this part I learnt because the builder for the community where I have a house went through the process, resulting in a delay to the clubhouse getting built. I actually saw a newspaper ad by the BDA advertising the auction of this and other CA sites.

The long and short of this is that there is no such thing, legally speaking, as a gated community within Bangalore Muncipal limits. And its not me who says it - the BBMP put out an ad, signed by the commisioner, explicity stating this a couple of years back (I might still have the cutting somewhere - if I find it I'll scan and uplod).

The reason the gates still stand is that no one has challenged it. So the next time you or your kids are denied access to a park or a playground and you feel strongly about it, my suggestion is that you do something  - complain to the BBMP, file an RTI or even a PIL. It will take time, effort and follow up, but its the only way to take back our city.

 

 

silkboard's picture

how does one make such requests?

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Sanjay, so now, how does an ordinary joe aka citizen like you or me make such requests? Its not really a complaint, so can't go through BBMP spandana. Who to write to for lodging a request of sorts?

srinidhi's picture

lakes best place to start..

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 SB,

I suppose the lakes and its catchment areas are best bet for lung space. I have seen many of these lakes marked below where builders are as though waiting for it to dry off..to encroach..I have personally seen them and the area is intact atleast to a good extent even now..

Since the govt is also promoting lakes and rejuvinating them..its best to catch them..probably good press can help our cause!

Even vilagers around the lake should help in the cause!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/23160983@N03/4642010770/sizes/o/

Development like what was done for Agara/Hebbal lake has to be emulated here too!

Also there is a mini forest in front of itpl..this should also work as the lung space if a walking track is made thru it..

sanjayv's picture

How to do this?

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SB,

I don't think a complaint or suggestion will do the trick.  This is actually a demand from our side.  Plus this is a demand that requires political will on top of all the other stuff.  I actually think that this is a perfect model for some community oriented organizing (if you remember, Jenny sent out a tip sheet for this).

We need a demand to go out from RWAs , individuals, NGOs and clubs (Rotary club IT corridoor , Mahadevapura Agenda Task Force or something like that).  Plus we will have to aggregate data on available facilities in the area, talk to BBMP, BDA, corporators, MLA, MP (good place to sink MPLAD funds?).  Identify suggested locations for such facilities etc. etc.

Overall, not an easy project.  Lot of effort needed I think

 

A study by my fav IISc prof TVR

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We know that a large park will not bring any white or black money to BBMP or BDA, and that is probably why concrete is the flavor of the decade in Bangalore.

May be true. But most of us fail to realise that even in pure economic terms a lake does have a value for people living around it and cities in general. Prof TV Ramachandran did a study on it. I am attaching it to SB's post above.

 

-Shekhar


silkboard's picture

Tour of lakes in whitefield area?

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Sanjay, Srinidhi, and anyone else interested,

How about spending 3-4 hours one weekend to tour around top 6-7 lakes in the area? Can take pictures and see feasibility of lung space around them?

Will have to do this on two-wheelers. Would be a wonderful community-journalism type thing if we can pull it off.

Will need a good photographer as part of the troupe. I am not one.

sanjayv's picture

Sure, I am in

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 Good idea.  I don't own a two wheeler due to various reasons, but am open to buying a bicycle and doing a bicycle trip :-).  We could even take pictures and publish an article in citizen matters?

My photography skills do not qualify for the task at hand.

How about sometime in the next two weeks?  A Saturday event or if on Sunday, in the afternoon.

silkboard's picture

Sure, in 2-3 weeks time

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We will need a good photographer along though. And will need to borrow a bike or scooter.

Can dump all photos, maps and notes here, and sign up to produce a summary/article at citizenmatters, or a more regular newspaper (deccan herald).

silkboard's picture

Park/Forest - Wish granted !!?

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Looks like we'd have our wish granted on this one, without doing much work as yet. Deccan Chronicle reports that we have a reserve forest available near ITPL now.

Reserve Forest in IT jungle , Deccan Chronicle- Saturday 5th

June 4: A 711 acre Reserve Forest bang next to ITPL in Whitefield — that’s the Karnataka forest department’s gift to the city this Environment Day. The move comes after the Forest department managed to win a decade-long legal battle against the Karnataka State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) over the land in Kadugodi.

It had been notified as Reserve Forest in 1901 by the then Mysore government but the KSIDC, pressed for land during the IT boom years, had ‘acquired’ it without prior notice to any state or central department, a senior forest official told Deccan Chronicle. ... Only 80 acres of century old 700 acre preserve remains ...

Can't find on DC website, but here is the story on b-buzz blog: http://bangalorebuzz.blogspot.com/2008/12/timber.html

Not sure of the exact location - I am guessing its one of these two.

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silkboard's picture

Time for a cycle/bike tour? How to plan it?

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Back on this thread after more than a month, how do we organize a decently publicized local tour to survey few lakes in/around Whitefield/Mahadevapura to check which ones have scope for demanding a park?

Any ideas?

Will have to be on two wheeler. Can probably call it a cycle tour, and pull in some local bikers club (there is at least one I know).

Idea would be to do a round as per a pre-decided route plan, cover 4-5 lakes, take pics, and lodge a request with BBMP for a park.

sanjayv's picture

Parks and other facilities

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 How to organize a tour will need some thought.  On a slightly different note, I remembered seeing something on a Mahadevapura Agenda Task Force meeting minutes couple of years ago.  In fact, SB, you had posted the minutes here on Praja.

See here.

Among the minutes, the following information about public facilities was listed which I was extremely thrilled about at that point in time.

9.1.   Public Library

30 Gunta land in Tubrahalli to be transferred to BBMP by revenue department. BBMP to develop a  Public Library with digital Library facility in a PPP model.

9.2.   Rangamandira (Cultural Center) 

Land in Nellurahalli to be handed over to BBMP which will develop Rangamandira on a PPP model.

9.3.   Sports Complex 

Sufficient land and has been identified near Gunjur for the project. 

Youth & Sports department has kindly agreed to set-up a sports complex with required facilities. 

RKM to talk to Venkatesh Prasad & other eminent sports personalities to head the coordination committee.

Any idea about the status of all these things above?  I think they complement the parks idea.  I went through the list there and did notice that several of the items are slowly getting done or at least there are stories in the newspapers about upcoming projects that match the task force meeting minutes.

 

silkboard's picture

Ok, let me check with RKM

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Have not been in touch with RKM for a couple of months now.

May be we can start with a local bike-tour of sorts. You post notices in your community, and I do in mine. if 2-3 more whitefield residents join in, and we can manage 5-6 bikers each from say 4-5 residential communities, we can manage 20 people.

Can cover 4-5 lakes in 3-4 hour's time. Take pictures etc. And then submit these as part of a small report type thing to BBMP?

sanjayv's picture

lakes are coming near parks

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 I visited the lake right behind my apartment this weekend.  There have been some changes in terms of fencing and a walking path as well as a small park under development. Did not have my camera or cell phone during this stroll.  Also came to know while trying to sort out something else that the Apex apt association (i.e., association of associations) in my area is working with the BBMP to shape this lake development.  Do not know much more beyond this.  Will find out more and post some pictures of this lake at least this week.

sanjayv's picture

Chinnapanahalli Lake

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 Finally, I am posting a link to some pictures of the Chinnapanahalli lake, in my general neighborhood.  This is at the little red dot in the top left quadrant in the first map posted by SB in this thread.  Recently, this lake was cleaned, and a walkway added around the lake.  Saplings have been planted around the lake.  A public bathroom has been added and what looks like a small park is coming up.  Overall, decent improvement to the lake, in my opinion.

My family and I use this space now for occasional evening walks.  After the rains, there is some water there now and it makes it a nice stroll.  On the flip side, there is considerable evidence of untreated effluents/sewage all around the lake.  Luckily, bulk of it is diverted away from this particular lake.  Since this is an area with increasing population and largely devoid of sewage lines, the shit has to go somewhere.  Some large apartments, including mine have STPs.  Some probably work well, other's do not.  That is a subject of another post.  For now, please enjoy the lake pictures and some of the yucky sewage also, at this link.

Naveen's picture

Chinnapanahalli lake

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Sanjay,

Great pictures & nicely captioned. The lake looks all set to be of immense pleasure to those that reside close by - good progress on work by whoever undertook to cordon off & develop the water body areas.

Nearer my home, we have the larger, neglected Doddanekundi lake - though promises have been made often to commence desilting & cordoning off. The problem is that the task is very huge & the outlay too high since the lake area is very large. We are hoping for something similar to happen soon.

sanjayv's picture

Already an immense pleasure

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 I am really enjoying this lake already.  It is less than a 5 minute walk for me to get there.  The clean walkways and breeze around is something else. Also heard that an apex association (association of associations) is coordinating with the BBMP in this work.  Need to verify.

Also happened to go by the Kundanahalli lake.  The spouse and I had participated in planting several saplings by that lake couple of years ago.  In my last visit, most of the saplings were still there.  This time around, only 2 or 3 remained.  That lake also can do with similar work.  Except for a small stretch behind an IT park where they have developed a beautiful looking wooded area, rest of the lake is a mess.  Limited pictures here.

 

 

silkboard's picture

thanks for the pics sanjay

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Thought I would put out some pics here itself:

I need to follow up with RKM on park plans in the area. Bit busy right now, will pick this up after Aug 30 CRS event is done.

silkboard's picture

sanjay,one late reply

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Forgot to respond to an old comment from you sanjay. You said:

We need a demand to go out from RWAs , individuals, NGOs and clubs (Rotary club IT corridoor , Mahadevapura Agenda Task Force or something like that).  Plus we will have to aggregate data on available facilities in the area, talk to BBMP, BDA, corporators, MLA, MP (good place to sink MPLAD funds?).  Identify suggested locations for such facilities etc. etc.

I don't think it would need that much work. From my experience, one just needs to find the right person/department in BBMP/BDA who can make this happen (half the work), and then go help with all the details needed make it easy for him/her to do this type of work. (PS: and, then, In case of no result, add pressure by having more and more people enquire). I am sounding optimistic because money is already earmarked for lake upgrade projects, we would just be suggesting where to spend it.

Anyway, will test all this by actually running around with the request. Lets begin end of this month. Hope srinidhi and you will be there for support. 3 is a good number to start any project, little or big :)

sanjayv's picture

Demand versus Suggestion

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 From what I read, many lakes in Bangalore have had these "improvement" contracts go out.  RWAs have been fairly active/proactive in some locations to provide input and make demands of the improvement process. Half the lake improvements are with the BBMP, rest with the BDA.

The Kaikondrahalli lake is one example. Story here.  I think one trick is that all lake rejuvenation should involve the local community heavily.

Most lakes may not have space for a decent park nearby which is public land at least.  So either land has to be acquired adjacent to the lake or maybe some such lake exists with sufficient land to make a nearby park also.  If acquisition is required, that needs some political will.  I am not sure BBMP/BDA will ever acquire land for a park alone, unless it is part of a planned layout.

silkboard's picture

exactly ...

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Like in that Meera's article - need to get engaged with one lake project, and shape it well. And if we find a lake that doesn't have an improvement projct on it, we can get one started, BBMP has marked funds for such work.

Whether we ask as group (RWAs) or individuals, job becoms easy if we know where the money is. Who has funds for lake improvement or park building work? Is there a provision in local area budget? If yes, then job easy. If no then, the ask has to be for the budget provision first, and then we can suggest lakes.

Anyway, let us try some thing on this for sure. Would be a good case study, and nothing like it we end up getting nice lake/park at the end of it.

Do you want to create a project for it. Just so that we can attract 4-5 more folks to join in. And then a meeting one Saturday to get started?

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