Indira Canteens coming up in city's precious lung spaces

Indira Canteens coming up in city's precious lung spaces

Vijayanagar boulevard cleared for eateries in some wards

Indira Canteens coming up in city's precious lung spaces
The Karnataka government’s flagship programme Indira Canteens in Bengaluru, offering breakfast and meals at subsidised rates, may run into rough weather as some of them are coming up inside parks and playgrounds.

Karnataka Parks, Play-Fields and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulation) Rule, 1985 bars any construction inside the parks and playgrounds, not even quarters for the watchmen, let alone Indira Canteens. Corporators say canteens are coming up in parks and playgrounds in the city as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) does not have space to build them.

Requesting anonymity, a corporator said that at least five eateries are coming up inside boulevards in Vijayanagar, Hampinagar and Govindarajnagar wards.

He said, “Morning walkers have started protesting against such constructions inside parks and playgrounds. The agitation may intensify if the Palike does not identify some other place.”

The pre-cast canteens, being developed at a factory in Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu, have not been erected yet but the playgrounds have been cleaned for setting up the canteen.

Opposition BJP leader in the BBMP council, Padmanabha Reddy, has written to the BBMP commissioner asking him not to set up canteens inside parks or playgrounds as they violate the rule. “Construction of these canteens inside parks and playgrounds will lead to losses to Palike if somebody questions them in the court,” stated Reddy in his letter.

Reddy told DH that besides five canteens in the boulevard in Vijayanagar and surrounding areas, two more are coming up in playgrounds on Hennur Road and opposite St Charles High School. “A majority of the canteens are coming up in parks and playgrounds. Instead of using up lung spaces, Palike should get back properties which have been grabbed by powerful people, to set up canteens,” said Reddy.

JD(S) MLA K Gopalaiah conceded that there is lack of space for the construction of canteens. “These canteens have to be built at places where there is movement of public. We cannot construct them at isolated places where no one goes. The government wants each ward to have a canteen. In case there is no space in the ward, then another one can be built in the adjacent ward,” said Gopalaiah.

The BBMP commissioner says he had given clear directions not to construct these canteens in parks and playgrounds.
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