Children, cyclists and experts join protest

Cyclists joining in on the protest held by the Cubbon Park Walkers Association to save it from being destroyed by a concrete building that has been sanctioned by the Bangalore High Court. (DH Photo: Sneha Sengupta)

Children, cyclists and experts stood arm in arm to show their determination to stop the seven-storey annex building coming up inside Cubbon Park.

School goers held placards and shouted slogans like ‘Kattada nirmana nillisi, Cubbon Park ulisi’ (stop raising buildings and save Cubbon Park), making no secret of their concern for the green space. Clad in their bright green ‘earth’ uniforms, students of the Parikrama School also performed a rap song.

One illustration on the placards held by citizen groups depicted the seven-storey building like a shark that could swallow the whole park. Another portrayed the park with a single tree next to Lord Cubbon’s statue surrounded by high-rise buildings.

City historians and experts who actively defend its green space spoke to the youngsters on the park’s history and the need to conserve it. They include Satyaprakash Varanasi, Arun Pai, Suresh Moona and Bimal Desai.

The bunch of cyclists who joined the protest expressed their affinity for the iconic park. “We may not have thousands taking part in the protest, but this cause would bring in many more,” said Uma Shankar, a cyclist from the city.

Protesters clarified that they are not against the annex building, but object to its construction inside the park premises. “Of course, the high court requires an annex building,” RTI activist H M Venkatesh said. “But, building it within the iconic park will have a negative impact on its environment.” 

Venkatesh vowed that the protesters will form a human chain around the old electoral office building. “Let the earthmovers roll over our graves,” he said. “There’s enough open space with the BBMP and BDA. Let the annex building come up, with even more flaws.”

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