'Marriage halls causing traffic woes'

'Marriage halls causing traffic woes'

JD(S) MLC Abdul Azeem, who raised the topic in the Legislative Council, said the government had indiscriminately given permission to nine marriage halls on the Palace Grounds premises, causing major traffic congestion between Mekhri Circle and Cauvery Junction.

Azeem said that vehicular movement was dense on the stretch during the peak hour. “More than two litres of petrol per vehicle gets wasted while it is stranded in a traffic jam, amounting to an overall loss of Rs 48 lakh per day.

The marriage hall owners, in turn, make Rs one crore per day. While the wealth is being accumulated by the influential lobby and the Wadiyars, the State on the other hand is suffering loss to the tune of crores of rupees,” he said. JD(S) MLC M C Nanaiah said though a High Power Committee had been constituted to monitor the activities of the Palace Grounds, the officer incharge was not dispensing his duties.

Congress MLC V R Sudarshan said that ‘daylight robbery’ was occurring at the Palace Grounds, while the government continued to turn a blind eye to the happenings.

Inquiry to be ordered

His colleague R V Venkatesh said that more than 30 wedding halls were functioning from within the premises. He also alleged officials of the DPAR were indulging in irregularities by giving permits to all and sundry. “This is a big scam. Officials are becoming richer while the government is clueless,” he said.

Responding to this, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said he would immediately initiate an inquiry into the matter and ensure that action is taken against erring officials. He also said that the government was making serious efforts to solve the traffic congestion. He said that Rs 8 crore had been spent to construct a compound wall for widening the Mekhri Circle and Shivajinagar roads. The problem, however, was that the government was yet to avail permission to fell trees on both sides of the road.

An Interlocutory Application was filed in the Supreme Court to get the permission for the purpose, he said.

The Chief Minister said Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar and his family members have filed a civil appeal before the Supreme Court questioning the notification of the Bangalore Palace (Acquisition and Transfer Act 1996) for acquiring the Bangalore Palace and its appurtenant lands.

In the September 1998 and January 2001 orders the SC has ordered to maintain the status quo and to obtain permission from the State government for conducting each programme subject to other conditions imposed by the SC. He said that the government was not levying any fee on the public for using the premises. As per the SC orders, the government is not allowed to collect rent.

However, the users have to pay Rs 5,000 to the traffic police, Rs 15,000 to the BBMP per programme not exceeding seven days, Rs 2,000 per event to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Rs 5,000 to the fire force, and the amount prescribed by the police authorities depend on the number of personnel deputed on duty.

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