The Karnataka government’s effort to revive an old proposal to construct a 10-storey building inside Cubbon Park by demolishing the Election Commission office has drawn criticism from the public. A protest was organised by the Cubbon Park Walkers Association inside the park.
Heritage Baku, a citizen advocacy group, also supported the protest. In 2019, Karnataka had announced a similar move to construct the high-rise building in Cubbon Park. Following media reports, Heritage Baku started an online signature campaign against the project, and the project was eventually shelved. The petition in Change.org received 6,000 signatures in 24 hours.
A similar scenario prevailed on February 11 as protesters gathered at the park and announced that they would protest every weekend till the government officially announces that the building will not be constructed. Two hashtags #SaveCubbonPark and #ChaloCubbon was used on social media. An online petition was created by a city resident Ekta Sawant calling for the government to stop the construction of Cubbon Park High Rise. Another user pointed out that no construction was done in Cubbon Park ever since the implementation of the Karnataka Government Park (Preservation) Act in 1975. He urged the government to follow the Act.
“#ChaloCubbon has just started. We will protest every weekend until the proposal is permanently withdrawn,” read a post from the Bengaluru Residents Welfare Association on their social media handle.
Umesh Kumar, who is part of the Cubbon Park Walkers Association, told TOI that the protest will be intensified in the future, including going to court and roping in celebrities to support the movement. According to media reports, the plan of the ten-floor-building was inspected but was not finalised. “The public works department met the high-power committee under additional chief secretary Rakesh Singh. We are also looking at alternate sites. This is not final and it will take time,” Horticulture secretary Shamla Iqbal said.