Cubbon Park gates to be opened for traffic on holidays again

Govt passes notification, cites congestion on roads near park

Cubbon Park gates to be opened for traffic on holidays again

The state government issued a notification empowering the Cubbon Park traffic police inspector to open the gates of Cubbon Park for traffic even on second Saturdays and Sundays to ease congestion on the roads surrounding the city’s prime lung space.

This gazette notification, dated May 25, 2017, has come as a shock to the Horticulture Department and to the Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association who had struggled to ensure a ban on traffic on specified days.

According to the notification issued by the Home Department, Bengaluru’s vehicular population has increased from 24 lakh in 2009 to 67 lakh in 2017. The number of vehicles exceeds the roads’ capacity.

According to the existing restrictions, vehicles are prohibited from entering the park after between 10 pm and 8 am on all days while traffic is fully banned on Sundays, second Saturdays and on all state government holidays.

On May 24, 2015, the government had ordered a ban on vehicles in Cubbon Park on all Sundays till Monday morning. Traffic movement was also banned from 10 pm to 8 am on all days, except for emergency vehicles, in case no other roads were available. Later, on November 14, 2015, the government banned vehicular movement on second Saturdays too.

The latest notification not only dilutes the previous orders but also gives discretionary powers to Cubbon Park traffic police inspector to allow traffic inside the park to ease vehicular movement.

Parking vehicles inside the park continues to be banned whenever the gates are closed. “We will follow the notification. It means the park gates will be open for traffic on June 10 (second Saturday),” said a traffic police department official.

The Horticulture Department officials are not pleased. “It is a shock as no one discussed the proposal with us. When we planned to close the gates and even open them temporarily during the construction of Namma Metro, there was a thorough discussion with all stake holders. Traffic was restricted to save the dying lung space and nocturnal species from pollution. But now, this decision will open the park’s gates permanently,” said a senior Horticulture Department official. The department is now planning to request the state government to reconsider its decision and even challenge it in the High Court.
DH News service

 

We did not seek lifting curbs: Cops
The police, however, say they have not sought any relaxation of the existing orders. Interestingly R Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, said he was unaware of this development and had not issued any such order or request allowing traffic inside Cubbon Park. Praveen Sood, Police Commissioner, was more assertive and said they in fact turned down such a proposal by Jawahar Bal Bhavan. “A request had come from Bal Bhavan, but it was not entertained and the order to close the gates stands as it is.’’ The Bal Bhavan, located inside the park, had earlier written to the government to open the gates on all Saturdays as it is affecting their visitors. Divya Narayanappa, secretary, Bal Bhavan said a request was sent to the police commissioner but were asked to approach the Horticulture Department.

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