Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bangalore City - History Timeline

Bhanu Joshi

The city and region of Bangalore has passed through many stages of planned development. Up to 1949 there were two independent cities: the City proper and Civil & Military Station. The Civil and Military Station was developed for providing the primary needs of the Cantonment, with public offices and housing and accommodation for the British settlers. Bangalore Municipality was established in 1862 with separate Municipal Boards for the City and the Cantonment.


In 1889 a Committee was constituted for the development of City ‘extensions’ to meet the demands of a growing population. During the first quarter of the 20th century a number of newly planned development 'extensions' were developed with regular roads, open spaces and provisions for civic amenities (e.g. Fraser Town, Richmond Town, Sankarapuram and Viveswarapuram). However, there was no comprehensive approach for guiding the growth of the City in an integrated manner. As a result irregular developments occurred in between these extension areas. To deal with this situation, the City Improvement Trust was constituted in 1945 under special statute (Bangalore City Improvement Trust Board Act, 1945).

In 1949 the two cities were merged and the establishment of a number of key industries stimulated growth that resulted in an unprecedented 5.10 lakhs to 9.91 lakhs population increase during the 1941-51 inter-censal period. In an attempt to cope with this rapid growth, a Committee was set up by the Government of Karnataka in 1952 to draw up a Development Plan, including broad land use proposals. But, in the main, the proposals were not implemented as there was no legal backing to enforce the Plan.

To address this Government constituted the Bangalore Metropolitan Planning Board to prepare a Master Plan for the metropolitan region with the assistance of the State Town Planning Department. The result was the Outline Development Plan (ODP) for the Bangalore Metropolitan Region. This Plan was adopted by the Planning Authority constituted under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act , 1961 and was finally approved by the Government in 1972.

This Plan represented the first step towards a Development Plan for Bangalore. It was prepared for a period of 15 years (1961-76) and covered an area of 500 sq. kilometre s. of which 220 sq. kilometres, was proposed for 'compact development' and designated as the Conurbation Area. The remaining 280 sq. kilometres outside the Conurbation Area, was earmarked as a green belt. The ODP remained in force until 1984. Well beyond its plan period. By this time it outlived its utility and the City had grown beyond the Conurbation Area and encroached the green belt. The delay in preparing a Comprehensive Development Plan to timely supersede the OOP resulted n large scale unauthorised development.

To counter multiplicity of authority Government constituted the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), in 1976 under the statute of The Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976 to amalgamate the duties of the Bangalore City Planning Authority and the City Improvement Trust Board and thereby combining the functions relating to plan preparation, enforcement and implementation under one agency. Thu s, the BOA became not only the Planning Authority for the Bangalore Metropolitan Area but also a development agency.

An early task of the BOA was to prepare the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP), to supplant the outdated GOP. But, it took nearly eight years to prepare this Plan and have it approved by the State Government. The CDP had a planning time horizon of 15 years (1986-2001) and a target population of 7.0 million. The designated planning area "vas extended from 500 sq. Kilometres to 1,279 sq. kilometres.

In an attempt to deal with these new but burgeoning urban problems, the Government in 1985 constituted the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) by an Act of Legislature. This endowed it with, amongst others, the following powers and functions:

BBMP was formed in 2007, by amalgamating the erstwhile Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP), surrounding eight smaller urban local bodies and 110 villages. BBMP now spans over an area of 800 sq km.

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