Saturday, April 21, 2007

High Court lawns to make way for parking complex

High Court lawns to make way for parking complex

The Hindu

The court gives green signal for the underground facility

# The project is expected to take off soon
# The statue of Lord Cubbon may be shifted to another place

BANGALORE: After the M.G. Road promenade, yet another piece of heritage will be consigned to the past, albeit temporarily. The lawns of Cubbon Park in front of the High Court building will be dug up for an underground parking facility.

The project is expected to take off soon and it has been cleared by a high-level committee comprising the Chief Justice, the Chief Minister, and other high-ranking officers from the executive and the judiciary.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and Public Works Minister H.D. Revanna had mentioned at a public function some time ago that the State would go ahead with the project once it received a green signal from the High Court.

Project report

The Government had to place the project report before the High Court and file an interlocutory application (IA) as the court had on August 13, 2001 upheld the Government notification of July 30, 1998 (issued under the Karnataka Government Parks Preservation Act of 1975) specifying the limits of Cubbon Park. It had also directed that no new construction should be carried out within the park without obtaining its clearance. The complex received the green signal on Thursday when the High Court cleared the project, with Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice B.S. Patil allowing an application by the Government and asking it to go ahead with the complex. Several environmentalists had opposed the complex and moved the High Court against it by filing IAs. The court had heard the petition, and on February 27 reserved orders on the IA. While environmentalists had opposed the project, the Government had said that it would compensate for the loss of greenery. In its statement before the court, the Government had said, "The court is facing acute parking problems and there is paucity of space for parking of vehicles of judges, counsel, litigants and the public. As a result, cars are being parked in the park and on the footpaths."

It said the underground car park at the Western side of the court would not in any way mar the beauty of the park.

Advocate-General Uday Holla had said that for every tree cut, two would be planted. Moreover, the lawn would be re-laid and efforts made to ensure that there was minimum damage to the green cover.

On Thursday, the court informed the Government that it had accepted its application, thus paving the way for the construction of the complex.


The second phase of the High Court underground parking facility will entail the shifting of another landmark, the statue of Lord Cubbon, at least temporarily to a new place.

The statue was first moved decades ago when the High Court annexe was built.


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