Residents oppose Bengaluru development body’s plan to redevelop complexes

May 10, 2024
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The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is set to turn seven BDA complexes across the city into shopping malls and office spaces. While officials have noted that the objective behind the move is to generate more revenue, as the rental yield of these complexes is currently low, residents have opposed the initiative, deeming it unnecessary. Indiranagar residents have been at the forefront in raising their voice against the commercialisation.

Out of the seven complexes, six, including the ones situated in Koramangala, HSR Layout, RT Nagar, and Sadashivnagar, are leased to Bengaluru-based M-FAR Developers. On the other hand, a consortium of Maverick Holdings and Embassy Group will redevelop the Indira Nagar complex. The agreement will stand good for 60 years. The BDA is expecting Rs 40 crore in revenue per year once the redevelopment project takes place, which will be taken up by the private entities under their own funds. It has decided to allow two to 21 times more build-up on these seven complexes, depending on the total area of the particular complex and the width of the road that acts as a connection to it. For instance, the Indiranagar complex will have two towers. One of them will consist of 10 floors designated for offices, while the other will have five floors dedicated to shopping and other entertainment purposes. The Sadashivnagar complex, which currently is only one floor tall, will be redeveloped to have three floors.

The controversial move, initially proposed in 2018, was put on hold due to reasons, including changes of governments, the Covid pandemic, and strong opposition from Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs). However, with the project being revived, RWAs have called on authorities to reconsider and roll back.

Swarna, a member of I Change, a federation of RWAs in and around Indiranagar, told Bangalore Mirror that they have been opposing the project since 2018. She noted that while Indiranagar was a completely residential colony a handful of decades ago, it has now turned into a mixed zone.

“The 100 and 80 feet roads, Old Madras Road, CMH road, among many others, have now turned commercial legally, with clauses that dictate their activity. As a consequence, there is a mushrooming of illegal commercialisation on residential bylanes. What is the need to add more commercialisation to the area? There are also malls such as RMZ within a fair distance from the complex,” she said.

Furthermore, Swarna noted that the authorities have not bothered to hold a public consultation regarding the matter. “We have been raising concerns over the potential increase in vehicular traffic the project will bring in. Being present on an arterial road, it is highly unlikely for authorities to be able to control congestion with regulations. Along with this, environmental aspects such as noise and overall pollution must also be taken into account. Many trees within the complex are older than the concrete structure itself,” she said, urging the authority to instead refurbish the complex and turn it into a space for community events to take place. “The mandate of BDA is to make colonies livable. They are well aware of the public unrest with respect to the particular project, across the city. While they are custodians of the land, we are the owners. RWAs are also concerned about whether the project will lead to prioritising public utilities such as electricity and water resources towards the complex development,” she explained.

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  • Published On May 10, 2024 at 12:00 PM IST

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