The proposal in the State budget to constitute a management authority to develop Cubbon Park is expected to face dissent with the government-appointed technical advisory committee, headed by environmentalist A.N. Yellappa Reddy, not being consulted on it.
A six-member committee comprising experts in zoology, botany, horticulture and environmental science has been providing technical advice on development of Cubbon Park and Lalbagh botanical gardens — the largest lung spaces in the city.
However, the committee was not consulted or even informed before the Cubbon Park Management Authority was announced in the 2014-2015 Budget on Friday under the “Tourism” head. Mr. Reddy said he came to know about the proposal through media reports.
Mr. Reddy described the proposal as aimed at “grabbing the place for commercial benefits.” Any addition or construction in the park will be “an inexcusable crime” and only cause destruction of the already brittle ecosystem, he said.
According to him, the proposal was only discussed at a “informal meeting” attended by private individuals who suggested development of the park. However, the proposal to add anything apart from development of the ecosystem was opposed even at this meeting, he said. “The lung space will lose its sanctity with commercialisation and may cease to be accessible to everyone,” he said.
A Horticulture Department official also questioned the need for a separate authority when the Suvarna Karnataka Udyanavanagala Prathistana, which has control over 22 parks including Cubbon Park and Lalbagh, has been functioning under the chairmanship of the Horticulture Minister.
Role of Prathistana
“There is scope for private participation even under the Prathistana, which could be effectively used for development of the park. Having more than one authority for development of the park would lead to confusion,” the official said.
Meanwhile, Horticulture Director D.L. Maheshwar said the new authority is only a proposal and still in the preliminary stage.
The plan, he said, was to take the garden to the international level. The government will seek opinion from the public before going ahead on the proposal, he said, clarifying that there was no question of authorities working at cross purposes.
Readers can send their feed back by mailing to bangaloredesk @thehindu.co.in or contact us through our Twitter account (https://twitter.com/ BloreConnect) or Facebook account (www.facebook.com/ BloreConnect).