5-month-old moves HC for traffic ban in Cubbon Park

5-month-old baby moves Karnataka HC for traffic ban in Cubbon Park

Road in Cubbon Park without traffic. Credit: DH Photo

A five-month-old baby has approached the high court seeking a ban on vehicular traffic within and through Cubbon Park. 

Kian Medhi Kumar, represented by his father M R Rakesh Prabal Kumar, cited drastic reduction in air pollution during the lockdown to seek a permanent ban on traffic in the city’s premier lung space. Between March 24 and May 20, when the lockdown was in force, there was a reduction of suspended particulate matter and carbon monoxide level inside Cubbon Park, he stated. 

Admitting the petition, a division bench of Justices B V Nagarathna and Nataraj Rangaswamy ordered notices to the state government and other respondents. 

The petition also cited a study by the Department of Transportation Systems Engineering at the IISc on the impact of overall traffic conditions if Cubbon Park’s thoroughfare is opened. According to the study, there will be no substantial reduction in the improvement of volume to capacity ratio if Cubbon Park is opened to traffic. There would be a net reduction in CO2 and PM2.5 emissions as compared to when the traffic is allowed inside the park, the study noted. 

On September 8, 2020, the member secretary of the executive committee of the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority ordered the Department of Horticulture to reopen all the parks within its jurisdiction. The Cubbon Park traffic police also wrote to the deputy director of horticulture, requesting for reopening Cubbon Park to traffic, the petition
stated. 

Subsequently, the joint director of the Department of Revenue issued another order amending the September 8 order and allowed pedestrian and vehicular movement within public parks. The petition contends that only the Department of Horticulture can take the final decision on reopening the park to traffic. It urged the court to strike down the amended order of September 8 and ban vehicular traffic inside Cubbon Park.