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This has been on the cards since 2017; plan includes reviving the lotus pond, building walkways

Cubbon Park — one of the city’s main lung space which has been in the news after permission was given to raze a building on its premises to make way for a High Court annexe — is set for a revamp under the Smart City project.

Under the project, the lotus pond located near the Bal Bhavan will be re-developed, and pathways within the park repaired. Several stretches of walkways will also be built. According to officials, the aim is to protect and develop the centrally located park and revitalise the green space through improved pedestrian connectivity.

This has been on the cards of Bengaluru Smart City Ltd. ever since the city made it to the Smart Cities Mission in 2017. No action, however, had been taken for two years. Bengaluru has a dubious distinction of underutilising funds allocated under the mission. A tender was floated on November 7 for the ‘protection and redevelopment of botanically varied park land – Cubbon Park’, project.

G. Kusuma, Deputy Director (Cubbon Park), Horticulture Department, said, “The lotus pond will be rejuvenated this time. Though we are not directly working on the project, it is our duty and responsibility to assist the authorities who are taking up the project,” she said.

The former High Court judge M.F. Saldanha, who rejuvenated the pond nearly 20 years ago, told The Hindu that he had written to the department against the neglect of the park in general and the lotus pond in particular. “It is good that they want to bring back life into the pond. However, I do not know how are they going to do that and how they will maintain it. When S.M. Krishna was the Chief Minister, I along with a small group of nature enthusiast had rejuvenated the lotus pond. We had even got a few variety of birds and animals. They all disappeared owing to negligence and theft,” he said.

Tree census

The department has decided to conduct a tree census in Cubbon Park and also grow medicinal plants. “The last census was done a long time ago, and there is an urgent need to conduct a new survey of the trees,” said Ms. Kusuma. The exercise will include making new digital records of the trees, their health, location, and other details.

Park authorities said data collected would help them increase the green cover and identify projects that need to be taken up. To conduct the census, officials are reaching to stakeholders, including environmentalists. The tree census is likely to begin in a month or two.


Quelle/Source: The Hindu, 23.11.2019

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