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Govt apathetic to vanishing lung spaces, allege residents

G Manjusainath, DH News Service, Bengaluru, Jul 13 2017, 2:07 IST
Vehicles parked at Bannappa Park on KG Road. dh photo

Vehicles parked at Bannappa Park on KG Road. dh photo

The demand for protection of parks, playgrounds and open spaces is growing louder but citizens say the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) are doing little to save them.

Take the case of an ‘open space’ in Jeevan Bima Nagar. The residents have been fighting a legal battle since 2009 to reclaim it. BDA handed over this piece of land to four organisations to build structures.

M S Anand, president of JB Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA), said the BDA’s comprehensive development plan of 2005 and 2015 clearly showed ‘Site No-2’ of the layout as a green area, which means no construction activity is allowed.

A park had been carved out of this piece of land. The BDA allotted the rest of the land to four organisations including Mogavira Sangha, which is constructing a building, he said.

“A couple of years ago, the BDA notified this place as a yellow zone. Subsequently, construction work started. We challenged it in the high court and got a stay against the construction on Monday. However, work is going on in full swing. This is outrageous,” said Anand.

Girish Ganguli, a resident of Nanjundeshwara Layout in JP Nagar 5th Phase, has been fighting a legal battle to protect a park. Two builders want to form a road cutting through a park in his layout.

The Palike itself has laid a mud road and is in the process of asphalting it.

Another park in the layout has been encroached by a club for parking. He said he had lodged several complaints to the BBMP before taking the legal option.

The office bearers of Citizens’ Action Forum, a consortium of about 150 RWAs had raised the issue of shrinking lung spaces in the city with Governor Vajubhai Vala.

“We have been complaining about the encroachment and misuse of open spaces in the city. These illegalities are happening right under the nose of politicians and officials. Politicians encourage encroachment and allow buildings and slums to come up on open spaces,” said CAF president D S Rajshekar.

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