Once a landfill, soon a recreation space

As two acres have been encroached upon, the Kempegowda Park will be designed on the remaining 28 acres.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

More than half a century ago, stones from this quarry in T. Dasarahalli were carried miles away to build the hallowed steps of the Vidhana Soudha. When the rock was exhausted, the denuded land came to be used as a landfill in 2008.

Today, thanks to an initiative taken by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and the area councillor, this vast 30-acre space will soon become a park with an amphitheatre, swimming pool and indoor stadium in a few years.

While locals are sceptical of the BBMP’s grand plans, civic officials are confident that the quarry will be converted into a park. “This park will be an excellent recreation site for citizens of Bengaluru. An indoor stadium, swimming pool, gym, and an amphitheatre are being planned as part of the park,” said Mallasandra ward councillor N. Lokesh. As close to two acres have been encroached upon, the park, which will be named Kempegowda Park, will be designed on the remaining 28 acres.

Work began a year ago and so far, the land has been cleared of debris and fenced, and a stone seating area has been designed around the fountain site. The plan takes into consideration the topography of the site; areas where there is hard rock have been designed as stages and design elements. At one end of the plot, the land dips and this area will be developed as a catchment for rainwater harvesting. An art and culture space, Kempegowda Kalabhavan, has also been proposed.

G. Padmavathi, Mayor, recently inspected the site and expressed her approval. “A part of the area has been encroached, but the remaining will be developed into a beautiful park. The plan has been designed keeping in mind the lay of the land — where there are rocks, stages and divisions have been designed, and low lying areas will be developed into a swimming pool and a rainwater harvesting catchment area,” said Ms. Padmavathi.

MLA for T. Dasarahalli Assembly Constituency S. Muniraju lauded the ward councillor for taking the initiative to protect the land. “Citizens will see a very different place in a few years, with trees and green space. Work is being completed in stages and the entire project may take five years to finish,” said Mr. Muniraju.

Superintendent of Horticulture (Dasarahalli) H.R. Chandrashekar said that once civil work was completed, landscaping work would begin by the end of the year. The entire project is estimated to cost around ₹20 crore.

Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), BBMP, said that it was difficult to find such a huge pocket of land in the city and it should be preserved for public use. “They had been using it as a landfill for the last over 10 years. We are planning to utilise the undulated land to make a beautiful park. A portion where the land is level will be used for a cricket stadium,” he said.

So far, ₹10 crore has been sanctioned, of which the BBMP has contributed ₹6 crore. A sum of ₹2.5 crore has been sanctioned under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, and another ₹1.5 crore under the Swachh Bharat, according to Mr. Lokesh.

Golf course in Mandur remains a dream

Residents have good reason to remain sceptical as a similar proposal to bio-mine the backlog of Bengaluru’s waste in Mandur and develop the landfill site into a swanky golf course has failed to take off for over an year now.

Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), BBMP, said that a team of experts from Chennai, who have developed landfill sites in Malaysia and other countries into golf courses, had surveyed Mandur and given a report that it was possible here too.

“We are committed to the project. But nobody has come forward to bio-mine and clear the waste backlog at the site even though tenders have been called five times till date. Any firm ready to bio-mine the waste pile up is welcome,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 5:05:45 PM |

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