Child petitions HC to ban traffic in Cubbon Park
The petitioner is being represented by his father Rakesh Prabal Kumar, an HR professional.
BENGALURU: In a one-of-its-kind incident, judges of the Karnataka High Court were surprised to hear a petition filed by five-month-old Kian Medhi Kumar, to ban traffic movement inside the city’s prime lung space, Cubbon Park.The petition has given a fillip to all those campaigning for a traffic-free Cubbon Park, demanding that the government ban thoroughfare to save the last few lung spaces in Bengaluru.
The petitioner is being represented by his father Rakesh Prabal Kumar, an HR professional. Kumar is a resident of Connaught Road and visits Cubbon Park every day, and brings Kian every week to enjoy its environs.The judges were pleasantly surprised at the petitioner and even wondered whether Kian had even visited Cubbon Park. They were delighted when they learnt that he does so every week and is very happy too, Rakesh told TNIE.
“Kian represents the future generation as a petitioner, for whom the park needs to be saved. Bengaluru’s pollution levels are rising, and the park is for him and all children. He loves to visit the park and it needs to be saved for them,” he said.In a similar incident, infants had petitioned the Supreme Court in 2015, seeking a ban on firecrackers, citing the impact of pollution on their health.
Members of the Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association said: “Many campaigns have been held in the past couple of years, asking the government to stop the entry of vehicles inside Cubbon Park. This young petitioner is only a ray of hope to save the lung space. It is very touching to see and learn how the park plays an essential role in the upbringing of children. It makes us realise the connect we all have with Cubbon Park, when we played here as children, but have now forgotten. The lung space in central Bengaluru is crucial for the city.”
Kian’s father filed the public interest litigation, seeking directions to ban vehicular movement in the park, saying it is affecting his health. The petition was filed on November 9, and came up for hearing on December 23. On hearing the plea, a division bench of Justice BV Nagarathna and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy issued notice to the Secretary, department of horticulture, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority and Directorate of Urban Land Transport Department.Due to the lockdown, Cubbon Park was closed from March 25 till May 20. After that, access was restricted to walkers, joggers and cyclists at specified times.