Sunday, July 8, 2012


STORY IN TIMES OF INDIA TODAY DATED 9TH JULY AND MEMORANDUM SUBMITTED POLICE OPPOSE BBMP’s plans for Freedom Park Say Proposed Parking Lot And Palike Bazaar Will Only Create More Problems MK Madhusoodan & Sunitha Rao R | TNN Bangalore: Police are furious with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for its grandiose plans to construct a Palike Bazaar and an underground parking lot at Freedom Park. They have been allowing protests and demonstrations at Freedom Park, after similar events at the Palace Grounds threw traffic in the vicinity out of gear and drew public ire. Police fear the proposed projects at Freedom Park will result in an acute space crunch. “We’ve been allowing smaller public meetings and demonstrations or protests at Bannappa Park on KG Road near Cauvery Bhavan and Mahatma Gandhi statue on MG Road. There’s no other place for larger gatherings except Freedom Park where managing and regulating traffic and parking is easier. Once this space is taken over by a parking complex and Palike Bazaar, things will turn topsy-turvy,” a police officer said. In any case, BBMP’s project implementation record is dismal. Its schemes usually deviate from original plans and are timeconsuming, he added. BBMP engineer-in-chief BT Ramesh said the multi-level car parking will come up behind the Freedom Park and not in the front portion where protests are held. “Construction work on this facility will not eat into protesters’ space. The car parking is coming up on 2 acres in the rear section,” he said. On the proposed Palike Bazaar, Ramesh said there has been no official confirmation on the project which was announced in the budget. Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy, who was impressed by the famed Palika Bazaar in New Delhi, announced in last week’s civc budget that a similar Palike Bazaar would be constructed behind Freedom Park, and earmarked Rs 5 crore for it. However, a BBMP official admitted the bazaar would only trigger more problems. “How can we take away green space for construction of a commercial complex like Palike Bazaar? It’s yet to be finalized. There'll be massive public opposition to the proposal,’’ he said. TIMES VIEW Police objection to BBMP’s plans for an underground parking lot and a shopping complex is understandable, and hopefully the civic agency will heed the objection. The city’s residents need some place where they can organize protests without disrupting traffic and causing gridlocks. In any case, Freedom Park is one of the last remaining lung spaces in the city and these proposed projects will eat into this green space. BBMP must relook at its plans and leave this place alone. QUOTE UNQUOTE Freedom Park is the ideal place in this area for various cultural, religious, social, sports, national integration and protests. If it gets converted into a commercial complex and parking facility, Bangaloreans will certainly miss this space. BBMP must call for a meeting of resident welfare associations and traders before proceeding with this plan. Sajjan Raj Mehta | FKCCI MEMBER Freedom Park has historical significance in Bangalore. The trend of using parks for building parking facilities and complexes is increasing and that's bad. If BBMP wants to have a Palike Bazaar, why can't it use one floor of its Utility Building or even space in the malls it has leased out? We will oppose this decision. Vinay N | MEMBER OF NGO HASIRU USIRU THE IDEA DOESN’T IMPRESS: Cops fear the project will lead to acute space crunch. There is no other place for large gatherings except Freedom Park where managing traffic and parking are easier, they say

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