Worried about parking space when in the central business district of Bangalore? Don't fret. Cubbon Park, Bangalore's perfect lung space, is slowly getting converted into a paid parking area. An ideal example of how greens hardly have any significance in our developmental priorities, the horticulture department has passed a tender of parking space to one Krishnappa C for `29,84,010 (a copy of the tender is with City Express).
The park can park vehicles entering the area from its seven gates and not just cars, but cycles, scooter, two-wheelers matadors, maxi cabs, vans and others can pay `20 and not worry about finding space in the congested commercial areas surrounding the greens. The tender approval stands good for a year from November 22, 2013 to November 21, 2014.
DL Maheshwar, director of Horticulture department, said, "It is not a rule that came to existence during my tenure. The Horticulture department has allowed public parking facilities for a long time now and it is another year of sanction. In fact, we have been under a lot of pressure to give more parking facilities inside Cubbon park but we have cut down on many areas. In future, if possible, we will try and abolish this system of public parking and this can only be possible if citizens, a few advocates, Walkers' Association and BDA come forward and support in creating a 'no parking' zone here."
Maheshwar further added, "Our interest is not to make revenue by providing parking facilities. We are trying
to be citizen-friendly as they are finding it difficult to park their vehicles in the heart of the city. Over a period of time, we will regulate and cut down on vehicles coming in and out of the garden."
Mahantesh Murugod, deputy director, Horticulture department, said, "Public parking has been existing for past 25 years but it has only increased now. This happens mainly because we have tourists buses and vehicles of people who come to the high court, Vidhana Soudha, Secretariat building, etc. All these vehicles find space inside Cubbon Park. If we allow free parking, then the garden will be filled with only vehicles."
The accumulated vehicle parking fees goes to the trust, Suvarna Karnataka Udaya Prathishte. The money is then used for various developments in the Cubbon Park, according to Mahantesh.
Before, the park had four gates which were open for vehicular movements, but now all seven gates are open mainly because of the metro work near Vidhana Soudha. "In future, after the metro opens, we plan to stop vehicles coming in from certain gates. The committee will decide on this," said Mahantesh.