Monday, August 29, 2005

Park land 'vanishes' in CDP 2005

Park land 'vanishes' in CDP 2005
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Bangaloreans may now have to forget the dream of another Cubbon park or Lalbagh. While the citizens are urging for large parks and open spaces at the regional level to retain the glory of Bangalore as a garden city, the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) does not reflect it.

Instead, it has scrapped the idea of regional parks proposed in CDP-1995.

CDP 1995 had earmarked six locations of the city to an extent of 1,250 hectares for developing regional parks. But the CDP-2005 does not recognise them as parks and has marked them for other purposes.

Locations marked for regional parks were in Banashankari VI Stage, Hebbal, Yeshwantpur, Madivala, Whitefield (Doddenakundli) and Rajarajeshwarinagar. There is no trace of parks on these lands for the past ten years.

Instead they have been used for other purposes either by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) itself or by encroachers.

The land marked for a park in Banashankari VI Stage has been used for residential purpose by BDA.

“A part of the land in Hebbal near Hebbal tank has been used for the flyover. The downward strip is not developed,” a former town-planning official said.

The Doddenakundli area in Whitefield, is earmarked for residential purpose in the present CDP, according to him. In Yeshwantpur and Madivala areas only the tank bed is left and the surrounding areas are encroached upon.

“Even BWSSB has some construction,” the official said.

In Rajarajeshwarinagar or Ideal homes, the marked land is also used for purposes other than the development of a park.

“The new CDP may identify lands for residential or semi-public use, but certainly not for the development of a park,” the official said.

The parks were planned at regional levels to serve different parts of the city to meet the requirement of lung spaces. “Even some existing parks, which are shown in the existing land use maps, are changed to public and semi-public use,” the official said.

“The BDA has not taken adequate measures to freeze encroachments. Why should the public pay for their mistake? Let BDA identify some other location for parks if they have difficulties in developing the marked land into parks,” the official said.

Residents argue that Cubbon park and Lalbagh were built when the city had just a two lakh population. “Now it has crossed over 70 lakhs, and the two parks cannot meet the need,” Ramaksrishna, a resident says.

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