The government is supposed to enforce the laws. But instead of enforcing the laws, it often violates the very laws it itself has enacted. In case of some laws, the government has become a habitual violator of the law and it is an bad omen for the citizens.
One law that is being habitually violated by the government is the Karnataka Parks, Playfields and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulation) Act, 1985 and the Rules made under the Act. The Rules severely restrict the type and area of buildings which can be built on a park. Even though the government itself has written the rules, it keeps violating it repeatedly.
In Cheluvamba Park, it built what seemed like a guesthouse. When the neighbours filed a case against the illegal construction, the court ordered the demolition of the illegal portion of the building.
At about the same time, it started building a public library-cum- shopping complex at People’s Park. When a PIL was filed in the High Court, it had to withdraw the project. Now it is again reviving the project of building a library at People’s Park.
In a park in Gururaja Layout (near Teresian College), authorities are now attempting to build an illegal water tank. The small park which is just about a quarter of an acre in size is the only park for the residents of Gururaja Layout, Vidyanagar, Raghavendra Layout, Yaraganahalli and Palya. The water tank which has a capacity of a million litres will use up about 40% of the park. It will make the park just about useless. It will also violate Sec. 6 of the Karnataka Parks, Playfields and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulation) Rules.
What is shocking is that when the layout was formed, a 4.25 acre piece of land was allocated at an elevated area just for the construction of such a water tank. Instead of building the tank there, the authorities are out to destroy this small park.
The residents have submitted a petition to the Deputy Commissioner, contacted the MCC Commissioner and the local MLA. But no concrete assurances have been given. If their pleas are ignored, they will have to approach the High Court with a PIL.
-By Bhamy V Shenoy
(The writer is president of MGP)