PIL filed against skywalk project at MG Circle

PIL filed against skywalk project at MG Circle

The controversial Mahatma Gandhi Circle Integral Skywalk project, put on hold after an outcry, has been legally challenged.

A public interest litigation was filed in the Karnataka High Court on Friday, seeking quashing of the work order and the agreements between the BBMP and the private agency executing the project.

Work on the project near the Cubbon Park entrance had been halted on Saturday night following a DH report and the public outcry that ensued. The petitioners have also sought quashing of a supplementary agreement inked on September 16, 2016 between the Palike and the agency, Prakash Arts Private Limited, to reallocate the skywalk from its original location at the Anil Kumble Circle.

The skywalk location was shifted from its original location to the Mahatma Gandhi Circle. Dubbing  this supplementary agreement as 'arbitrary', the petitioners contended that it intentionally favoured  the agency to derive profits and deprive the public exchequer.

Identifying themselves as social activists, who had campaigned against the steel flyover project and  Krumbiegel Hall demolition, the petitioners were clear what their interests were: to preserve the  heritage of buildings and parks in the zone.

Their fight was also against projects that would destroy "the entire aesthetics of the Mahatma Gandhi  Circle". Skywalks, the PIL maintained, were designed "only to appease and benefit the advertisers  and, on the contrary, displease the public at large."

The petition cited the overwhelming public opposition to the skywalk, as indicated by posts on Facebook.

It contended that the work order for the skywalk project, issued on December 8, 2014, was without  application of mind and in violation of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act.

This, the petition noted, was "detrimental to the cause of the public and also heritage of the  architectural buildings and parks situated in the vicinity".

The court was told that the respondents, by virtue of the work order, had already commenced excavation/digging for the project. Completion of this process would deprive the petitioners the opportunity to be heard, the PIL contended, in support of its prayer for quashing the work order.

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