The Karnataka High Court has sent a notice to the state government in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a five-month-old baby, seeking a ban on traffic movement inside Cubbon Park in Bengaluru.
The plea filed by Kian Medhi Kumar, through his father, states that the level of suspended particulate matter and carbon monoxide at Cubbon Park had reduced significantly when the lockdown was in force between March 24 and May 20.
Citing a study conducted by a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, recommending that closing the park to vehicular traffic had a positive impact on the environment around it, the petition also states that the study also indicated that allowing movement of vehicles through the park did little to improve the traffic situation in the surrounding areas.
“The idea of ensuring that there are no motorised vehicles within the Park is neither novel, nor radical. It is submitted that over a decade ago, traffic was freely allowed within the Park till the Government of Karnataka ceased allowing buses, auto rickshaws and transport vehicles through the Park,” the PIL states.
The petitioner added that the decision of the government to allow vehicular traffic inside the park is an action of “environmentally irresponsible respondents” which is “directly affecting” his health, well-being and quality of life. The plea also cites the order by the joint director of the Department of Revenue, revising guidelines to allow pedestrian and vehicular movement within public parks, a day after the state government directed the Department of Horticulture to open parks within its jurisdiction.
A division bench of Justices BV Nagarathna and Nataraj Rangaswamy issued notices to the respondents – Karnataka government, Bengaluru City Traffic Police, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport.
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