Cubbon Park sans security since Dec

Horticulture dept hasn't hired new agency after contract expiry

Cubbon Park sans security since Dec

Security has become a matter of concern inside Cubbon Park as the number of guards has dwindled marginally over the last couple of months.

Things have further worsened as the contract of Pawan Security Agency (PSA), which monitored the security aspects, with the Horticulture Department has lapsed. The security agency had bagged an 11-month contract to provide security guards between January 1 and December 1, 2015. The Horticulture Department is yet to award the contract to another security agency.

Members of the Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association (CPWA) claim that there are virtually no guards in the park and that this has been the case in the last one-and-half months.

The members also alleged that though PSA’s contract had expired in December, five of the agency’s guards are still fulfilling duties at the Park. It was two security guards from this very agency that were involved in the gang-rape of a 30-year-old woman in November last year, they said.

The CPWA urged the Horticulture department to wake up and consider the safety of women and senior citizens. They asked the department to ensure a proper security apparatus inside the park at the earliest.

S Umesh, president of the CPWA, said, “We have been demanding that the horticulture authorities hire a new security agency, but our plea remains ignored. The Horticulture department had an understanding with Cheenaram, a private person, to provide security guards in 2014 for a period of one year. The PSA hired five guards provided by Cheenaram during 2015. However, the five guards are inefficient. Unknown men felled two sandalwood trees on the Press Club premises in the park and took away the branches on January 22. This exposed the lapses in security.”

“Women are specially scared to venture into the park alone after the November incident . No steps have been taken to clean the litter here and maintain the park,” said Leelavathi R, a frequent visitor here.

Along with the security contract, the annual maintenance contract has also lapsed, said the CPWA members.

Jagadeesh M, joint director of Horticulture department, told Deccan Herald, “We have applied for tenders and within a month, new security contract would be given to a suitable private agency. Coming to the maintenance contract, there is still time to float a new one.”

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