A night in the park

Green spaces

A night in the park

Bengaluru’s charm lies in its many parks and green spaces, apart from other things. Despite the increasing urbanisation, the authorities are constantly on the lookout to make these spaces more accessible and attractive for Bengalureans. One such suggestion was recently given by the Tourism Department wherein they wanted to open up parks like Cubbon Park and Lalbagh to the public, uptil midnight, at least twice a week. And this has garnered mixed reactions from people.

It would come as a great opportunity for those who want to hang out with their family, feels Kavitha Vadiraj, a music teacher, who feels why only pubs should be open at night. “Even for couples who want to just walk through some green space after a tiring day at work, this would be a wonderful option,” she says.

She adds that after beating the traffic, being in a green space would help one relax and connect with nature. “Earlier, as kids, all of us would go out and play, but nowadays everyone is busy with gadgets. Opening up these parks would lead to some quality family time,” she says.

As most Bengalureans point out, security is an important facet that needs to be looked into. “CCTV cameras need to be installed all around the parks, so that people can be monitored. Checking of ID proofs would help to keep a tab on who is entering the park so that law and order officials can take action if required,” she feels.

There should also be ample lighting to keep a watch in such vast areas, adds Kavitha.

For some like Siddesha Hanumanthappa, a runner, this idea comes as a welcome change as it would help reconnect with nature. “Apart from food trucks and attractive lighting, interesting sports activities and discussions can also be included,” he says. Mention nightlife and most people think of pubs, restaurants or clubs, he says. “Many people would like to have an alcohol-free atmosphere to relax in. This would be a great option for homemakers, middle class families and, in fact, people of any age,” he says.

He adds that such an outlet would also help generate employment. “From the food vendors to the transportation options, many people would tie up with these parks.” Law and order should be in place when nightlife comes into the picture, he feels. “Opening up roads like Brigade Road and MG Road would add to the energy around too but proper security around these parks is a must,” he says.

Not all nature enthusiasts are excited about the concept of night tourism though. Sridhar S Tirumale, a civil engineer, who runs in Lalbagh daily, says that green spaces should be left as they are. “Anyway, we are running out of spaces to relax in. I have even made a page on Facebook for Lalbagh for its betterment and I feel that the park should be left as a non-commercial space,” he adds. A concept like night tourism would only pollute the place and lead to more garbage in the vicinity, he feels. “After the regular flower and fruit shows that happen in Lalbagh, it takes almost a week to clear up the waste there. Add to that, if we start activities and open up the place twice a week, then it would be nothing more than a waste site,” he voices out.

Arthur Kardige, another nature lover, says that the plastic packets, garbage and leftovers would choke the birds inside the park. “This could also lead to more stray dogs. There are so many other things that should be focussed on. From better dustbins to restrooms, signboards to proper parking spaces, there is a lot that needs to be concentrated on otherwise,” he says.

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