Governor of Karnataka: Please block Urban Development bill that threatens public spaces in our state!

11568 signatures
out of 20000!!

UPDATE, 09/02/2017:

Over 11,000 Jhatkaa members are asking Karnataka Governor Vala to stall the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which will reduce public spaces like gardens and parks by 5%!

The Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala has done just that, for the second time(1) by sending the Bill back to the Legislature for review. He said that the proposal to reduce public spaces in residential layouts would substantially affect the “essential basic rights of citizens.” If thousands of us sign the petition in support of his concerns, he can use his pocket veto power to stall this bill in the future as well. If we want to ensure our children have safe spaces to play in and have clean air to breathe, we need to act now.

We’re going to be delivering the petition to the Governor soon to show that we support his stand. Could you help us hit 20,000 signatures by immediately signing the petition?

Source:
1. Bill to reduce public spaces is not in public interest, says Governor; 8th Feb 2017, The Hindu
http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Bill-to-reduce-public-spaces-is-not-in-public-interest-says-governor/article17263623.ece

BACKGROUND:

The Government of Karnataka (GoK) wants to push through a bill which seeks to reduce spaces reserved for parks and playgrounds in government layouts from 15% to 10% and civic amenity sites from 10% to 5%. The bill was passed by the house in July 2016 and now needs approval from the Governor.

Please sign this petition asking the Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala to use his discretionary “pocket veto” power and not approve this bill. Click here to ensure our towns have at least some open spaces left in the future!

The GoK tried to get the Karnataka Urban Development Authorities (Amendment) Bill, 2016 approved a few months ago as well. But because of the concerns raised by alert citizens and activists, the Governor sent the bill back to the Government with some serious questions about its impact. Now, the Government had sent this bill to the Governor again for approval without even responding to his questions. They have failed to explain the impact of reducing these open spaces on liveability, traffic congestion, reduction in air quality and strain on existing civic amenities.

The Governor has already demonstrated that he doesn’t think this bill is in the best interest of the state. He has the constitutional, discretionary power to keep a bill in suspended animation by merely refusing to give approval for an indefinite period of time. This is called “Pocket Veto”. If thousands of citizens demonstrate their support for the Governor to stand against this bill, the Governor will feel empowered to use his veto power and will not allow this short sighted bill to pass.

Karnataka has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last few weeks. Impending drought, thousands of trees on the verge of being cut for highways, steel flyovers and LPG pipelines, and now add to the list a law that aims to reduce public spaces across the State! If we want to ensure our children have safe spaces to play in and have clean air to breathe, we need to act now.

Will you join us in thanking the Governor for his proactive questioning of this bill and urge him to ensure this bill is not approved in the future? Sign this petition and safeguard public spaces in Karnataka!

This bill will impact development norms in 250 small towns across Karnataka. Once these layouts are built under the proposed norms, there will be no way to reclaim these spaces.

Furthermore, GoK says they want to bring the cost of sites in Government developed layouts on par with private layouts. But what they aren’t explaining is why they won’t increase the public space allocation in private layouts which is currently less than for Govt. layouts! Bringing them on par would address the cost issue (if it were true!) and help keep our towns and cities more liveable. Sign the petition now!

Sources:

1. Karnataka passes bill to reduce open spaces, 19th July 2016, Deccan Herald

2. What it means to reduce planning norms for urban amenities, 22nd July 2016, The Hindu

3. Governor – State Executive Head, 11th April 2016, www.ias.org.in

4. Government to send bill to reduce open spaces, parks to governor again, 8th Dec 2016, The Times of India