Mixed response to ID cards for walkers


While the Environment Support Group (ESG) vehemently opposed the move apprehending that this would prevent the urban poor from enjoying the benefits of leisure, there were many who believed that it would help people understand the significance of environment and cleanliness.
The ESG is highly critical of the move. It had opposed the measure from the day the Horticulture department declared its wish to collect an annual charge of Rs 200 from the visitors. Leo Saldanha of ESG said that a demonstration would be staged in front of Lalbagh.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, he said, “This is nothing but another attempt of the rich class to prevent the urban poor from getting entry into Lalbagh. This is a public place and should be open for all.”

Choice of elites
Another ESG activist Bhargavi said the threat is not that of ID cards being issued. In future it may levy high fee for the morning walkers, thereby, restricting the urban poor and transgenders from entering the park. Already many tanks and natural resources have been privatised and now it is the turn of Lalbagh to fall prey to the hands of the elite few, she observed.

It is for all
“Public places and parks especially are meant for recreation for all. The other organisations that opposed the move and are preparing for a demonstration were Sangama, Vimochana, CIEDS, Alternate Law Forum and Dalit SangaRsha Samiti (DSS)- Samyojika faction.

Move lauded
On the other hand, Trustee and Administrator of Bangalore Environment Trust G Govardhan is in sync with the government's decision to issue ID cards to morning walkers.

"I strongly believe that there should be some fee imposed on those who visit Lalbagh as it will help in instiling discipline among its users," he added.
A morning walker at Lalbagh Varadaraj Sharma welcomed the move saying that the revenue generated would be utilised in developing the park.

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