In urgent need of restoration

Pathetic Condition

In urgent need of restoration

The Cubbon Park Bandstand, a historic structure that once united the City’s music lovers, has been crumbling to ruins for a while now. The foundation is shaky, the iron cast needs restoration and wooden parts are missing from various portions of the roof, making it out of bounds for visitors.

Over time, rains and weather conditions have proved detrimental too.

Bangaloreans need to question why a heritage site like this is not being restored. Officials ought to have jumped to action looking at the bandstand’s sorry state a while back. However, they seemed to be waiting for a total collapse.

“Jagadeesh (the deputy director of horticulture department), who is in charge of this revival project, would let us organise events at the bandstand. Earlier, he had said that the roofs were dicey and luckily, nothing bad happened when we used it. But now, it’s actually in a really bad condition and not usable,” says Ekta Mittal, a member of MARAA, an organisation striving to restore public spaces in the City.

“While money has been sanctioned to improve the structure, the work is not happening for some reason — ­ it could be bureaucratic reasons or because the money’s just getting stuck somewhere in the channel. By October this year, we hope to reclaim the public space for our jam. But the urgency must be felt — it has to be fixed before the government changes again!” she adds.

The concerned official, M Jagadeesh, clears his doubts and shares some positive news. He informs, “We took estimations from the chief architect and based on that, have deposited Rs 11 lakh to the Public Works Department (PWD) two and a half months ago. The tender process will be finalised shortly and work orders will be given.”

What is the kind of work needed to transform the structure back to what it once was? “There are eight cast-iron pillars that will be treated with chemicals, repainted and restored. The roof will be replaced with a new one that looks just like it. Stone washing and minor repairs will also take place for the whole structure,” notes Jagadeesh, adding that if all goes well, the Cubbon Park Bandstand will be accessible to the public in less than two months.

This is great news for all Bangaloreans, especially for those who have seen the bandstand in its glorious days. “I have been to the Sunday jams in the past and those used to be beautiful — I’d get together with friends and enjoy a sweet evening at the park. After seeing its recent condition, I didn’t think that much could be done to save it. But if it really is being revived, it’s great for the City, especially for those who have never experienced it,” shares Prashant A, a
professional.

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