Saturday, August 28, 2010

Namma Metro work should not hit Cubbon Park, says CJ

Namma Metro work should not hit Cubbon Park, says CJ

But the work on the station at Vidhana Soudha could go on, the Karnataka high court observed

Odeal D'Souza



The proposed Metro station work at Vidhana Soudha should go on. But it is also important that nothing should happen to the Cubbon Park.
These were the words expressed by chief justice JS Khehar on Friday while hearing the case challenging the proposed metro station work at Vidhana Soudha.
The issue of the proposed station has been in much debate over a few months since it falls under the purview of one of Bangalore's best lung spaces, Cubbon Park.
Stressing on the seriousness of the case, the bench headed by chief justice JS Khehar and justice Manjula Chellur observed, "Cubbon Park is very precious to the city. Its importance is known only to the people who have come from outside Bangalore. What we want is the work should go on smoothly but nothing should be done to destroy the previous environs of the park."
The division bench appointed senior counsel DLN Rao to assist the court in this matter. The court also said that the details of the project and all the records should be handed over to the counsel.
Advocate general Ashok Haranahalli submitted that alternative roads will be used to divert traffic before starting the Metro work.
The petitioner's advocate MG Kumar had earlier argued that the underground station near the high court could be dangerous for the heritage building. He also said that a station at the Minsk Square and at KR Circle is enough which could be 1km in distance. Passengers can walk up to these stations while there is absolutely no requirement for the station opposite the Vidhana Soudha.
In the petition filed by the horticulture department, it has stated that the BMRCL requires 11,160.86 sq mt area temporarily and 2,126.71 sq m area permanently for Vidhana Soudha Underground station and ancillary buildings.
The department also sought permission for felling 116 trees, 22 for traffic diversions through alternative roads, 65 for stations and 29 for ancillary buildings.
The Cubbon park area is 260 acres. The actual area required (permanently) for the 800-metre alignment in front of high court and KGID building is 0.5 acres or 0.2% of the entire Cubbon Park area as the rest of the greenery will be restored. The horticulture department stated this in its petition based on the letter written by BMRCL on August 26, 2009 seeking its permission.

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