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'No' to more construction in Cubbon Park

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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.

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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Groups like Hasiru Usiru have been agitating against the proposal from long. The happy augury this time around is that the lawyers themselves are opposing it. Hopefully, the new CJ will take note, and put a lid on the proposal for good.

Muralidhar Rao

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