Friday, May 28, 2010

Are playgrounds, the last resort for construction of parking bays?

Are playgrounds, the last resort for construction of parking bays?
Bangalore, May 27, DHNS:

In a City that is plagued by traffic congestion seven days a week and 365 days a year, creating parking facilities seem to be the need of hour. But at what cost?

The State government’s proposal to build underground parking facilities below 10 playgrounds and vacant lands has seen stiff opposition from both the local politicians and residents. The price for development just seems to have gone up a notch.

As per the proposal, mud upto one metre height would be laid on top of the complex and is said to keep the playground intact. The same theory will be applied to all the five playgrounds where the proposed parking bays are to come up. Meanwhile, on the busy Brigade Road a tunnelled parking bay has been proposed by the government.

The government has cited that the citizens and motorists are facing severe problems as parking facilities are not available in and around the 10 areas identified for parking purposes at present. According to their estimates, thousands of people visit these 10 areas for shopping and other purposes. They are facing hardships as they have no facility to park their vehicles. Hence, the Palike has decided to construct parking complexes in these areas, said sources in the BBMP.

Move justified

The largest parking bay being proposed is at Freedom Park, where it plans to construct the parking facility on a five acre expanse. Palike officials justified the move by stating that the complexes will come up below playgrounds without affecting the grounds.

However, the government seems to have overlooked a small procedural aspect. According to Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, standing committees should carry out a detailed discussion on projects of vital importance.

Later, the project should be proposed for discussion during general body meeting. There should be a public debate on such important and serious issues. The BJP has dared to violate these norms as it is ruling party, allege many corporators.

This apart, the proposed project has not gone well with several corporators. They criticised the Palike’s intention saying the budget is yet to be presented, blue print for the project is not ready, standing committees are yet to be constituted and moreover, no one knows the cost involved in the project. They want a public debate on the issue.

Reactions

The Supreme Court has clearly stated that gardens and playgrounds should not be utilised for different purposes. The proposed project is a clear violation of the Supreme Court verdict. My party sternly opposes the proposed plan. We will make all out efforts to retain the playgrounds in their present condition.

M Nagaraj, leader of Opposition, BBMP

The BBMP budget for 2010-11 has not yet been presented and the standing committees are yet be constituted. Hence, proposing to discuss such an important issue in the general body meeting becomes irrelevant. A proper action plan has not been finalised for the project. The playground at Netkallappa Circle is too small. It is a foolish idea to construct a parking complex beneath the ground.

K Chandrashekhar, Basavanagudi ward member.


I am opposed to the idea of constructing parking complexes below playgrounds. Once the complexes come up below, the playgrounds will be utilised for commercial purposes. The authorities will give permission to hold exhibitions, sales and conventions.

Sathyanarayan, Karnataka Athletic Association Secretary.

No playground or stadium in the country has a parking complex under it. A few foreign countries including France have this facility where ultra modern technology has been used to construct parking complexes below the stadiums. Such a thing cannot be experimented in India. New projects worth Rs 2.50 crore have been taken up in the stadium. Hence, it will not be feasible to construct the parking complex here.

PSB Naidu, Indian Wrestling Association Secretary

List of proposed parking bays

* Russell Market (south side) playground

* Brigade Road

* Jayanagar 5th block, opposite Telephone Exchange

* The vacant land opposite Garuda Mall

* Gandhi Bazar

* Ground meant for archers opposite Mallya Hospital

* Freedom Park

* Malleshwarm playground

* Netkallappa Circle

* Akki Thimmanhalli Hockey Ground, Langford Town

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