Failed PPP model preferred to develop Cubbon Park

Ownership of the garden to remain with Horticulture department

Failed PPP model preferred to develop Cubbon Park

Despite public-private-partnership module failing to take off in Karnataka, the State government has decided to focus on the comprehensive development of Cubbon Park in the City on PPP model through the proposed Cubbon Park Management Authority.

NICE Road project by Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) is one classic example of PPP model going wrong in the State. It is still mired in controversy and the road construction has not gone beyond the peripheral road of the City. The government has also made a vain bid to establish airports in districts outside Bengaluru through PPP model.

But no project has materialised so far. With policies of the government changing, investors are not finding it lucrative to invest in government projects.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who chaired a meeting comprising Tourism Minister R V Deshpande, Horticulture Minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa, and senior officers on Thursday, approved the proposal and asked the officials of Horticulture, Tourism, Fisheries, Libraries, and Women and Child Development to come up with guidelines for the development of Cubbon Park in a week’s time.

He said though there will be private participation/ investment, the ownership of Cubbon Park will remain with the Horticulture department. Shamanur has been appointed the chairperson of the Authority, which will have officials of departments concerned and corporate partners as its members.

Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee said the objective was to ensure effective development and maintenance of the park, which houses several structures, plant wealth and water bodies.

Serious business
“Managing Cubbon Park is too serious a business to be left to the Horticulture department alone. Thrust will be given to development of water bodies and other eco-friendly activities. There is also a plan to regulate entry. As we are bringing in private money, they will have a substantial say in the development of the park,” he said.

When asked if entry and other charges would be introduced in the park, he said those decisions will be taken by the Authority, once it is constituted. He also said the heritage structures would be protected and that permission would not be given for construction of any new building inside the park.

A decision has also been taken to develop 16 acres of the Park (towards Hudson Circle), overgrown with weeds. Officials said paths, benches and dustbins would be installed, while a big water collection pond would be created.

Presently, the Horticulture department is spending over Rs 20 lakh per month for the maintenance, cleaning, and security of the park.

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