The tourism department, in an effort to boost tourism with a piece of Bengaluru’s history , is planning to open up the two big green spaces in the city , Cubbon Park and Lalbagh, from 7pm to midnight.The proposal entails providing entertainment and food trucks for people to enjoy a greener part of Bengaluru by night. The plan is to keep the two parks open till midnight twice a month, if approved by the horticulture minister and department. “The idea is to provide a little lighting inside Cubbon Park and Lalbagh, open up spaces like the bandstand, Bal Bhavan and other locations inside Cubbon Park for people who wish to enjoy the quiet atmosphere for a longer time. While the proposal is for twice a month, initially we’ll experiment with once a month, and go for two days later,“ tourism minister Priyank Kharge said.

The department will ensure that the Cubbon Park and Lalbagh night projects will be held on separate dates.The minister said liquor will not be served, and the parks will be opened only partially. We do not have the manpower to handle things if the entire park is opened. We will be cautious which side to open, to ensure people’s safety and security ,“ Kharge added. He said the tourism department is ready with a draft proposal and will present it to horticulture minister S S Mallikarjun for his clearance.However, senior horticulture department officials said there is bound to be opposition from their department, considering the adverse impact it will have on the environment if artificial lights illuminate the parks at night.

“Further, if there are law and order problems within the parks, which are plagued with blind spots, the horticulture department will face the wrath of the people and government. With Cubbon Park in proximity to M G Road, it could mean many drunken incidents inside the park, if it’s open till midnight,“ said the official.Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association president S Umesh said when the government is not able to efficiently manage law and order with the existing infrastructure, how could they handle a situation with a huge influx of people after they open the space for night revellers.

“With no boundary walls, lack of CCTVs and inefficient horticulture department staff to manage the law and order situation, how can the state even consider such a proposal?“ Umesh asked.

Environmentalist Yellappa Reddy said the proposal, if implemented, is a crime. “The basic principle of nature is that there is a different world in parks and green spaces. For nocturnal creatures and the environment, night is the only time for breeding and allows birds to perch and rest. Bengaluru is already illuminated and has many other spaces for entertainment, why disturb and harm nature with artificial lighting inside green spaces? We will oppose such a proposal,“ Reddy said.

Courtesy by TIMES OF INDIA

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