Visitors suffer as lawyers park vehicles in Cubbon Park

The haphazard and unauthorised parking inside Cubbon Park, mainly by lawyers and their clients, is inconveniencing visitors to Bengaluru’s prime lung space.

Lawyers started parking their vehicles inside Cubbon Park on Monday after the parking lot in the magistrate court complex on Nrupathunga Road was closed for civil work. The Horticulture Department, which maintains Cubbon Park, protested the move.

Mahantesh Murgod, deputy director, Cubbon Park, said the Advocates’ Association had ignored its advice not to park vehicles everywhere in the lung space. “The Advocates Association had written to us six months ago requesting parking space inside Cubbon Park. We told them that there are five designated places which can be used and if these get full, they will have to look for alternatives. But this advice was ignored and vehicles were parked everywhere, including on the lawn,” he told Deccan Herald.

The five designated parking spaces inside Cubbon Park are: next to State Central Library, Ringed Circle, near High Court, Press Club of Bangalore Road and behind Venkatappa Art Gallery. Two-wheelers and four-wheelers are charged Rs 10 and Rs 20 respectively for a day. These places together can accommodate around 200 cars and 1,000 two-wheelers.

But on Tuesday, the number of vehicles parked inside the park went up to 4,000, leaving visitors worried. The Horticulture Department closed the Hudson Circle gate of Cubbon Park to restrict the entry of vehicles, further inconveniencing regular visitors. The department has warned of closing the entrance in the coming days if the “mad rush” continues.

Murgod said they had suggested alternatives such as Kanteerava Stadium, YMCA ground, State police headquarters and public parking space on KG Road. The department held a high-level meeting with the Advocates’ Association on Tuesday. Based on its request, the department is searching for alternative places but this will take a couple of days, he added.

S Umesh, president of Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association who is also an advocate, urged the department to be strict and not permit parking. The Parks, Playgrounds and Open Spaces [Preservation and Regulation] Act, 1985, must not be violated. There are several alternatives but people don’t use them as they will have to pay, he said.

On average, 1,000 two-wheelers and 200 cars belonging to lawyers and their clients can be parked on the magistrate court premises. But if the whole rush is allowed inside Cubbon park, visitors will suffer, said a parking attendant in Cubbon Park. While visitors pay for parking, most advocates don’t bother. Allowing this will cause permanent damage to the eco-system, he added.

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