Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Railings in park irk walkers

Railings in park irk walkers

Arjun Ganesh
Senior citizens feel boxed in, find it difficult to move freely
— Photo: K. Gopinathan

Opposition: Writer U.R. Ananthamurthy feels that the railings in the park at RMV Extension in Bangalore give morning walkers a feeling of being in jail.
Bangalore: A park that was once a haven for early morning walkers is not so pleasant anymore with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) erecting railings along the sides of the walking path there.

The park, situated at Rajmahal Vilas Second Stage, has been popular with local residents — particularly senior citizens — for the past four years with its lovely pathway flanked by green foliage.

But recently the BBMP erected railings, which confine the free movement of walkers who alleged that the exercise has also ended up damaging shrubbery.

Many walkers feel that this is wasteful expenditure as the park has other issues that require the attention of officials.

“There were benches put up on the sides of the path for senior citizens. However, there are large stones that demarcate the pathway which restrict us from getting there. We are old and cannot jump over these stones, can we?” asked B.V. Ramamurthy, who has been visiting the park for a long time now.

“Now with these high railings, we feel like we are in jail and have lost the freedom we had all these days. Besides that, I have now been restricted from walking alongside my friend as the space is now constricted.”

Jnanpith awardee U.R. Ananthamurthy frequents the park for his morning walk every day. “I fail to see the reason behind the erection of these barricades. They give us a feeling of being in jail; we come here to enjoy freedom in a verdant ambience. If they are so intent on taking up work in this park, the officials must find other issues.”

When contacted, BBMP’s Chief Engineer (West) B.T. Ramesh said: “We are just doing our job. The railings that we have put up are called internal ornamental grills and these are used as barricades in an effort to stop people from walking on the lawn that exists on the side of the path.”

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