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Bengaluru: Jayanagar residents protest for banning commercial activities in public playground; MP’s office says ‘we don’t grant permissions’

Several residents gathered Sunday in Jayanagar to protest against Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya for permitting week-long commercial exhibitions multiple times.

bengaluru, jayanagar playgroundThe BBMP public playground (Shalini Grounds) in Jayanagar 5th block.

The residents of Jayanagar in Karnataka’s Bengaluru are irked by the constant use of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) public playground (Shalini Grounds) in fifth block of the locality for commercial purposes.

Several residents gathered Sunday in Jayanagar to protest against Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya for permitting week-long commercial exhibitions multiple times and depriving the children and sports enthusiasts from using the playground for sports.

The residents allege that despite several requests to the civic agencies, the MP and Jaynagar MLA Soumya Reddy, the playground is being extensively used for non sporting activities which has led to deterioration of the cricket pitch and degraded the ground quality.

“A series of exhibitions, cultural activities overtime has forced many sports persons to switch to other playgrounds,” said Nanda Kumar, a kabbadi player and a resident of Jayanagar.

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“The Shalini Grounds attract people from many parts of Bengaluru. Multiple exhibitions and cultural activities, which are conducted by setting up of pandals have actually created holes and degraded the cricket pitch,” he added.

Residents allege that despite many requests to civic agencies, the playground is being extensively used for non-sporting activities.

Kumar also stated that the residents have written to the MP to prohibit the vendors or exhibitors from conducting the exhibitions, but it has fallen to the deaf ears.

“The last exhibition took place over a month back. Although we protested, the exhibition went ahead. If there is permission for another exhibition in the coming days, we have planned to drive our tractors into the ground and would start converting the playground into agricultural land,” he added.

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Responding to the same, Surya’s office said that permissions to use the ground are not granted by the MP and added the Congress party has used the ground for conducting political rallies in the past.

“It is untrue to state that permissions to use the ground are being granted by the MP. Permissions to use the playground are given only by the BBMP, not by any MLA or MP. The MLA (Soumya Reddy) should know this basic functioning of the executive,”a statement from Surya’s office said.

The statement further said the MP’s office has “conducted vaccination drives for the benefit of auto drivers, Swiggy, Zomato and Dunzo partners as well as underprivileged sections at the ground on May 30, 2021”.

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“The Congress party, however, has used the ground for conducting political rallies in the past. On many occasions, whenever we have noticed that the ground is damaged, we have informed the BBMP authorities to level the sand and make it suitable for playing sports. Perhaps, we must ask the Congress party to pay for the damages caused to the ground during their political activities,” the statement added.

First published on: 27-09-2022 at 12:17:09 pm
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