Sunday, August 31, 2008

‘Construction in Cubbon Park will be a disaster’

‘Construction in Cubbon Park will be a disaster’

Bangalore: A group of 70 city advocates, opposing any construction inside Cubbon Park, submitted a memorandum to the chief justice of the high court on Saturday.
In their representation addressed to Justice P D Dinakaran, the advocates said the court should not permit construction of a multi-storeyed car parking complex and a canteen within Cubbon Park, claiming it will be an environmental disaster.
The PWD proposal to construct a basement car parking complex at a cost of Rs 31.5 crore got the HC nod in April. The advocates claim setting up of circuit Benches at Gulbarga and Dharwad has already reduced the number of visiting lawyers and litigants by 50%. So an expert committee may be set up to study the parking complex proposal to find out whether it is necessary, they said.
“Permission has also been sought to construct a temporary canteen at a place where many trees exist. This and the parking complex will be detrimental to the interest of the 150-year-old heritage HC building,” they said, adding that the horticulture department should be directed to recover 1.2 acres of land from the Press Club to be utilized for parking.
In 1975, the government enacted the Karnataka Parks Preservation Act and notified boundaries of Cubbon Park. Despite this, the park area is shrinking, the advocates’ memorandum stated.
Cubbon Park is the largest park in Bangalore and a tourist attraction. It was conceived and formed in the 19th century when it had a sprawling area of over 300 acres. Vidhana Soudha was built in 1954 and ever since, the park is shrinking and several government buildings have come up. These include Legislators’ Home, Press Club, Election office, Century Club, KSLTA tennis stadium, Fisheries building, Youth services building, RBI, YMCA, Criminal courts complex, GPO, CTO, Aquarium, Museum and art gallery. In 1997, amidst protests, the authorities denotified 32 acres of land to accommodate construction of the Legislators’ Home Annexe building


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