Bengaluru, one of the first cities in India to have an urban development plan, has grown into an unwieldy, badly planned mess. Once the ‘garden city’ and ‘pensioner’s paradise’, it has acquired labels like ‘garbage city’ and is the butt of all jokes on traffic jams. What happened to Bengaluru’s urban development plans?
The city notified a green belt in the late 1970s that would act as a boundary for urban growth and preserve its lung space. At the time, 500 sq km was designated as metropolitan area, 220 sq km as conurbation area and 280 sq km as agricultural zone. In 1984, the metropolitan planning area was increased to 1,279 sq km, the conurbation area to 439 sq km and agricultural zone to 840 sq km.
In 2007, to accommodate the city’s growing population, another expansion was undertaken. Seven adjoining city municipal corporations, one town municipal corporation, and about 110 villages were merged with the erstwhile Bengaluru metropolitan area to make space for the steady influx of people.
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