MGP offers input to master plan for a less chaotic Mysore

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MYSORE, September 11:  Expressing fears that “Mysore could go the Bangalore way”, stakeholders have called for a re-look at the Mysore Master Plan 2031 and suggested changes in the plan document.

The plan was an initiative of the Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and was prepared by Ahmadabad-based SAI consultants. The authorities received over 800 objections to it after it was released, and the revised document was supposed to incorporate the concerns of citizens.

However, the Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) has pointed out that some key recommendations of the master plan will ensure chaotic development and erode the city’s character.

Ashok Kacker, R. Chandra Prakash and B.V. Shenoy of the parishat have said they have interacted with the government, impressing upon them the deficiencies in the current draft plant.

Questions about zoning

Referring to the zoning of the city in the existing plan, the MGP pointed out that for each zone, land use is specified depending on its character. There is detailed classification on land use and the city has been divided into 41 planning districts, with broad guidelines of development plans, which is good.

However, there is no link between planning districts and zones, and the guidelines are open to interpretation.

The MGP has suggested three zones — zone A, which is the central business district and heritage zone; zone B, which comprises rest of central Mysore with high density and development; zone C, which is moderately developed and where new development activities can take place. The MGP has also suggested creation of zone D to include areas that are currently sparsely developed but with scope for planned growth.

The MGP has said land use pattern should be specified at planning districts level and not just zone level.

Taking exception to the present plan clubbing all residential buildings under “residential” category, the MGP said residential buildings have to be differentiated into row houses, single-storeyed houses, multi-storeyed apartments etc. as each of these categories have implication on the surrounding infrastructure. Clubbing all types of units in one category would mean high-rise structures in the central business district, leading to urban chaos. So, it has called for incorporation of two additional categories under ‘residential’ — plotted residential developments and villas or semi-detached houses (R-1) and apartments or multi-dwelling units, large group housing projects (R-2).

Mr. Prakash and Mr. Shenoy told The Hindu that despite the professed objectives of the master plan to preserve the heritage character of the city and ensure its decongestion, in its present format, it would only lead to chaotic development and more congestion. This was because the floor area ratio (FAR, the ratio of built area to total size of the plot) has been increased in zone A, which is already congested. Similarly, the provision stipulates highest land coverage — 75 per cent — in the city centre, whereas ideally it should be the opposite, they said.

There are fears that the plan document may be notified soon and hence MGP has interacted with officials and elected representatives to have a re-look at the document.

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