Lalbagh not to lose land to signal-free corridor

Lalbagh not to lose land to signal-free corridor

The Bangalore Development Authority has abandoned its plan of routing the Sirsi Circle-Agara Junction Signal Free Corridor through the Lalbagh Botanical Garden.

Following a large-scale public protest against the possibility of losing portions of the Lalbagh Garden to the corridor, the BDA revised its stand on the Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted to the High Court last month. The BBMP prepared the DPR in 2009, but being broke, the Palike transferred the project report to the BDA.

BDA officials said the proposal could be revised. They also claimed that the acquisition of land for the project “cannot be carried out” without an amendment to the Karnataka Parks Preservation Act.

“We reiterate the fact that there is no land acquisition at the Lalbagh Botanical Garden, for the upliftment of the Minerva Junction. The DPR submitted to the HC is not the final proposal,” said BDA engineer member, Chikkarayappa.

According to Chikkarayappa, the Lalbagh Botanical Garden acquisition was not possible owing to an earlier High Court judgment, barring all “development” works at the park. “Even for the BMRCL Metro work, the HC constituted a committee to look into the pros and cons before sanctioning the project in 2009,” said Chickkarayappa.

As per the original plan, the BBMP had suggested acquisition of two metres of the Lalbagh Botanical Garden along its boundary at Javaraiah Circle, for widening Lalbagh Fort Road, as part of the corridor.

The actual translation of the two metres would mean that nearly 13,800 sq mt metres of Lalbagh land may have been required to complete the ambitious project. Sources in the Palike had told Deccan Herald that the proposal of the Lalbagh land acquisition, in 2009, was shot down by the State government. The BBMP had suggested acquisition of land between Lalbagh Main Gate and J C Road, as the width of the stretch was “too narrow.”

However, the BDA officials now claim that the land acquisition at that particular junction will
consume only a garage and a few petty shops. Chickkarayappa further added that people with “vested” interests were trying to raise a debate out of nothing and the “junction improvement” had nothing to do with the original signal-free corridor proposal.

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