The Legislative Council on Wednesday adopted the Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation) (Amendment) Bill, 2013, thus removing 49 acres and 34 guntas of land, including Vidhana Soudha, Vikasa Soudha, Legislators’ Home and adjoining structures, from the Cubbon Park premises.
This removes restrictions on taking up development work or repairs in these areas.
The Bill was adopted in a matter of minutes by a voice vote, without any discussion.
Piloting the Bill, leader of the House S.R. Patil said restrictions on construction on the park premises meant that the government could not take up work in these structures. For example, a statue of the former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had been installed some time ago on the Vidhana Soudha premises, but it could not be unveiled as norms prevented statues being put up in Cubbon Park. “Hence, the statue had been completely wrapped up.”
There were plans to set up a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Vidhana Soudha and Vikasa Soudha, but this would not have been possible unless the law was amended, Mr. Patil said.
The Opposition supported the Bill, but asked that the government be cautious in ensuring that the provisions of the Bill were not misused. “Don’t make it a habit to install statues of leaders of all kinds of generations,” Leader of the Opposition D.V. Sadananda Gowda said.
BJP member B.J. Puttaswamy added: “Do not misuse the provision of the Bill and turn the Vidhana Soudha into a graveyard by installing statues of all political leaders who have died.”
The demand for deleting these areas from under Cubbon Park was made years ago, when construction of an annexe for the Legislators’ Home attracted controversy.