Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rallies in park? Not yet

Rallies in park? Not yet
The Times of India

Bangalore: How can they break free alongside a landscaped garden, what if they throw stones at the touchscreen info kiosks? What if a 25-acre park is destroyed in an hour’s mob work?

This is the government’s dilemma over earmarking five acres of land at the erstwhile Central Jail which is supposed to metamorphose into the Freedom Park.

Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy told The Times of India: “I am aware that whenever some persons take to agitations and rallies, citizens of Bangalore are put to a lot of hardships. The five acres of land at the former Central Jail can’t be left just like that. In a few weeks’ time, we will resolve this problem.’’

The Dharam Singh-led government had taken a decision on setting aside five acres of the expanse of 23 acres of land at the proposed Freedom Park, singularly for the purpose of rallies, demonstrations, protests et al. The government then approved the original design prepared by architects Nisha Ghosh and Mathew which had not taken into account the land to be marked out for rallies.

Explains BMP commissioner K Jairaj: “We have two options with us now. Either we have an insulated place, cordoned off from the rest of the park, so that we can have an underground car park at the very area meant for agitations. Or, we will request the government not to use this land in Freedom Park premises for agitations.’’ When the plan of having a segregated space for rallies was announced, it spelt a breather for citizens. It meant that the rest of office-going busy Bangaloreans did not have to put up with endless traffic jams.

Except this hitch which hit implementing agencies — what if the protesters go berserk, what if there is a contingency like a stampede?

As for work at the ground level, authorities have completed a grid survey and ground level transfer of pillars and identified the portion that will be landscaped. The Hyde park-like protest
area will be situated behind the barracks. A portion of land adjacent to Subedar Chatram Road is slated to be used for parking purposes. The BMP is undecided if it would be a multi-level car park or have a basement parking.
Till the government makes up its mind, rallies in arterial roads, with people milling about disrupting peak hour traffic, will continue to be an everyday affair.


Post a Comment

<< Home