Saturday, November 26, 2005

Building of reception counters in Cubbon Park area cleared

Building of reception counters in Cubbon Park area cleared

The Hindu

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Friday approved an interlocutory application (IA) by the State Government seeking permission to construct reception counters within the Cubbon Park area to regulate, restrict and streamline the entry of employees and vehicles to Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha.

It, however, made it clear the Government should not go ahead with the construction in the Cubbon Park area other than those for which approval had been sought.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice N.K. Sodhi and Justice N.K. Patil had on an earlier occasion asked the Government to submit a modified plan of the proposal including the High Court building for providing security.

When the matter came up, principal government advocate M.N. Seshadri placed a plan outlining the steps taken to provide security to the High Court building in addition to the security for Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha.

The plan, drawn up by the Chief Architect, Karnataka Government, envisages construction of two security counters and putting up of MS grills around the High Court. Estimated to cost Rs. 1.74 crore, the Government said it would take up construction as soon as permission was given.

The interlocutory application had been filed as two of the four counters proposed around Vidhana Soudha come under the notified area of Cubbon Park, where no construction is allowed.

The Government said after the December 2002 attack on Parliament, several measures were initiated to step up security to Vidhana Soudha and the buildings surrounding it. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) along with the Fire Force was asked to conduct an exercise for security and fire protection norms for Vidhana Soudha and the newly constructed Vikasa Soudha.

The Government said it intended to construct four reception counters at the main gates of Vidhana Soudha-Vikasa Soudha for restricting and streamlining the entry of employees, visitors and vehicles. While two counters-Gopala Gowda Circle and Ambedkar statue-would fall within the Cubbon Park area, the other two counters-KPSC office and D. Devaraj Urs statue-would fall beyond the park area.

It said the counters, to come up on 78 metres of land, would be manned by the police. The counters would be built keeping in mind the architecture and aesthetics of Vidhana Soudha.

The Government urged the court to permit construction as it was vital to prevent any untoward incident.

The Bench permitted the Government to go ahead with the security plan.


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