By BS Reporter
The Karnataka department of urban development is formulating a policy for urban development to ensure a sustained and balanced development of the cities. Principal secretary of the department of urban development Amita Prasad said the draft policy is getting ready.
Inaugurating a seminar on Development of the north Karnataka region with a focus on small and medium towns’ organised by NGO Eco-Watch and Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Developments and Finance Corporation (KUIDFC) here, she said focus would be on the development of North Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka districts where 52 per cent of the population has been deprived of basic infrastructure.
Amita regretted that several schemes and policies were not yielding the expected results due to a lack of public participation. Stating that 38 per cent of the people in the state lived in cities, Amita said the number of people migrating to big cities was only increasing as tier-II and III towns and cities were not being developed and it was not a healthy sign.
Six towns in North Karnataka will be developed as tourist centres, she informed. Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla said that the development was an ongoing continuous process and care should be taken to see that it is sustainable.
Eco-Watch founder president Suresh Heblikar said that at present, urban development schemes focus more on mega cities rather than small and medium towns. This has been creating a serious imbalance, he said. In addition, it has become necessary to see whether the development of mega cities such as Bangalore has really helped the common man. He said, town planning should be based on the requirements of the town.
Meanwhile, mayor Pandurag Patil said, the local bodies should have a greater role to play in policy making process. Till date, the municipalities have had no say in matters of designing the projects. Their role is to implement the readymade models sent from Bangalore. In key issues like waste management and water management the local bodies have to follow the diktats of Bangalore instead of taking their own decisions.