Ganesha Utsava: HC on use of National College Grounds

Ganesha Utsava: HC on use of National College Grounds

The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday directed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to consider the application seeking permission to hold ‘Bengaluru Ganesha Utsava’ at National College Grounds as per rules and decide on it accordingly.

The division bench of the high court, comprising Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Mohammed Nawaaz — hearing the PIL filed by the Shankarapuram Residents’ Welfare Association in a matter pertaining to the permission sought by Sri Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha — directed the BBMP to decide on the application as per section 6 and 8(1) of the Karnataka Parks play fields and open spaces Preservation and Regulation Act 1985, and not by placing it before the Council.

The court insisted that if at all any permission was given to the association, it shall not be for more than five days.

This apart, the permission granted for setting up a pandal to accommodate supplementary activities pertaining to the festival ends on Friday and the organisers must vacate the pandal at the grounds by 10 am on August 31. If they fail to comply with the orders, the BBMP must clear the pandal from the ground.

The BBMP advocate argued that it was the responsibility of the civic body to provide entertainment to the public. “However, as the city does not have entertaining grounds, it was decided in the BBMP Council in 2015 to provide permission for such entertainment for five days in the month at the regular playgrounds. In this matter, the same has been extended to 11 days, but the BBMP is committed to permitting the organisers to hold the show only for five days,” the advocate submitted.

Appearing on behalf of the Bengaluru Ganesha Utsava, the advocates apprised the court, “Sri Vidyaranya Yuvaka Sangha has been conducting the event since 2010, utilising 40% of space on the same ground without affecting any other activities or games conducted at the ground. The organisation has made the preparations for the event and people from across the country will take part in the same.”