BENGALURU: A week ago, the Karnataka High Court gave its nod to construct a seven-storey court annexe in Cubbon Park, leaving civic activists in a ferment.Members of the Heritage Beku group on Monday held a meeting, where they decided that they would start policing Cubbon Park every evening from 6pm-7pm. The activists have started an online petition, “Stop any #construction or 7 storey High Court Annexe in historic #CubbonPark #HeritageBeku”. The petition has already got more than 900 signatures within one day.
Alyia Phelps Gardiner Krumbiegel, great granddaughter of Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel, architect of Lal Bagh and city planner, said, “The preservation of the red heritage High Court building must be on our minds. There will be no chance to renovate or save this historic site once it’s gone. It is important to locate and save buildings of historical significance, because once a piece of history is destroyed, it is lost forever. Local governments in India seem to be on a bulldozing spree, targeting all historic buildings.”
“We will start policing Cubbon Park every day. There will be one person who will carry this out, and interested citizens are welcome to join us in this. We will start a hashtag #cubbonparkpolicing. This is to save our heritage Cubbon Park,” said Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, a member of Heritage Beku.
Rajagopal said that they will meet ministers and bureaucrats over the issue and believe that the High Court will change its decision. “As a beloved, iconic and highly emotive aspect of our city’s skyline and history, we must do all we can to preserve Cubbon Park and public space. We trust that the authorities and ministers will do the right thing by citizens. There is already a strong response from the public, expressing anguish on why construction is being allowed, given there is a 2011 law on this. The Draft Revised Master Plan 2031 specifically covers heritage guidelines, and we should abide by this,” said Rajagopal.
The team has also decided to hold an event on Sunday, where citizens can have an open discussion about the the seven-storey building and give their views on the same.