Thursday, May 08, 2008

YMCA plans trigger sea of emotions

YMCA plans trigger sea of emotions
Wednesday May 7 2008 10:49 IST

ENS
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BANGALORE: A proposal to commercialise and jointly develop the 40,000 sq ft of heritage YMCA land into a sports complex through an agreement with Gopalan Enterprises, has triggered the emotions of many.

Several prominent citizens have joined hands to put a stop to the Rs 5 crore project, through stay orders from the High Court.

Noted environmentalist Suresh Heblikar said that the property would harm Cubbon Park's serenity, flora and fauna. The property also threatens the city's security as it is located adjacent to the DG and IG's office and the RBI. ''The city Police Commissioner and DG and IG must ensure that the project is stopped. There are very few heritage properties left in Bangalore and strong measures must be taken to ensure that they are retained,'' he said.

Former vice-chancellor of Gulbarga University M V Nadkarni said it is yet another instance of the 'protectors' turning predators. Director of the Indian Institute of Missiology Research Centre Dr Siga Arles condemned the YMCA and Gopalan Enterprises. He said that efforts must be made to stop the project and save Cubbon Park, another heritage lung space of Bangalore.

A senior official from the Horticulture Department said that the project must be stopped as the land abutting the park is protected land. Though the property belonged to the YMCA, the horticulture department should have been consulted.

Former Karnataka DGP Francis Colaso said that strong objections must be raised to stop the project. Many said that the forthcoming government must be pressured and the proposal withdrawn. Mathew Thomas, Consultant Psychologist, Associate Professor of PG Studies in Psychology, Christ College, said that it was a sensitive issue and must be handled with care.

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