The unholy haste with which the Siddaramaiah government has pushed the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities (KUDA) (Amendment) Bill 2016 is further proof of its skewed priorities and its callous disregard of its responsibility to the people.That this government has repeatedly demonstrated its soft corner for builders and contractors is well known. But this Bill represents a clear and imminent threat to Bengaluru. The city, which is not presently covered by KUDA, could be brought under it once similar amendments are made to the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976, the Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976 and the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority Act. Such a step will be a fast track route to making Bengaluru ‘unlivable.’I have repeatedly warned about the threat the city and its public assets are facing - of being handed over to builders and contractors. The development of the city has for long been influenced by the commercial interests of builders and contractors, who seem to have taken over its planning. There is an urgent need to put an end to the nexus between contractors and officials acting against public interest.Citizens must unite in this fight to save Bengaluru. I support the Namma Bengaluru Foundation, all resident welfare associations and citizen groups in their fight to resist this takeover of the city by unscrupulous builders and contractors. The Chief Minister must withdraw this poorly thought out and anti-citizen law. This article appeared in Deccan Chronicle on July 21, 2016http://bit.ly/2aaTBz0
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