BBMP springs a green surprise for Cubbon Park

Walkers are staging protest under the leadership of Doreswamy freedom fighter against the construction new buildings in around Cubbon Park. (DH photo/S K Dinesh)

In a surprise move, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Monday asked the state government to "review" its decision to build a seven-storeyed High Court Annexe building inside the iconic Cubbon Park. 

Often accused of not doing enough to protect the city's green spaces, the Palike took a firm stand that the Zoning Regulations of the Revised Master Plan (RMP-2015) will be applicable to the proposed construction. 

Officials of the Palike's Town Planning Department conveyed this to Chief Secretary T M Vijay Bhaskar at a meeting here on Monday evening. 

An official who attended the meeting told DH, "We were sent by the commissioner to convey  the norms involved in clearance of the proposed construction. We have briefed the chief secretary about the zonal regulation factors involved. It has been marked as a Heritage Conservation Zone that may not allow the proposed construction."

However, the government appeared desperate for a way out. The chief secretary asked the Palike officials to submit the provisions under the draft RMP-2031. This was to explore more legal possibilities that could allow the construction of the proposed building.

BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar elaborated to this newspaper, "We have explained all the legalities involved in the construction as we are custodians of all public spaces in the city. Going through the area's map in RMP that shows it as Heritage Conservation Zone, we have clearly explained the rules to be followed. In brief, we are just asking the government to review its decision about the building as zonal regulations are same for all."

However, the chief secretary is learnt to have set up another meeting with the BBMP Town Planning officials and senior officers from Horticulture Department on Tuesday. Legal possibilities would be explored there again to see if the proposed construction could be allowed. 

DH could not reach Chief Secretary Vijay Bhaskar for comments despite repeated attempts.

The chief secretary's meeting with BBMP officials came just a day after citizens from various quarters staged a protest against the construction of the High Court Annexe building after demolishing an existing heritage structure inside the park.

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