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16 Sep 2019, Edition - 1525, Monday

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Coimbatore

Is it feasible to have night tourism in Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park

Indrani Thakurata

Bengaluru: The tourism department of Bangalore is planning to open up Cubbon Park and Lalbagh from 7pm to midnight, in an attempt to boost tourism. This piece of news came as an eerie surprise to me, because only a day before, we were looking out for green spaces in the city that we could go to around midnight—a space equivalent to the India gate in Delhi. A space that is open, green and beautiful at night, where we could sit and have an off ice cream and come back. So, I am thrilled with the proposal like many of my friends. ” As a resident, it makes me happy to know that we could go there and sit amidst so many trees. Have conversations, and breathe in fresh air.

Cubbon Park is a great attraction, and it being open at night time would mean that much more. And why not, every city has a historical green space that interacts with its public day and night. We should be able to pull this off,” says Rishi Mittal, Marketing Manager, Amazon. Though admittedly excited, but cautious at the same time, Priyanka Mukherjee, a resident of North Bangalore and a Social Worker says, ” Yes, it is a great proposal but they need sufficient lights and CCTV cameras to make it a safe place for interaction. They need to be equipped with enough man power to handle such a move, because opening up a space like this till midnight will attract drunken brawls.”

The plan is to keep the two parks open till midnight twice a month, especially 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. The tourism Minister Priyank Kharge confirmed that the parks will be opened only partially, no liquor will be served,and the safety and security of people will be looked into. However, young environmentalist Deba Mukherjee is not convinced and is angry with such a proposal. “The law and order situation in Bangalore has gone for a toss, they are not able to control that. And now with such a proposal, they will turn these two green spaces into a hub of illegal activities.Also, let’s not take away even this space from the nocturnal creatures.

Tourism would mean lights that would glare into the trees that would destroy the nocturnal environment. We have to take note of the fact that there are animals and plants that only come to life at night, let’s give them that space.” Dismissing this resistance, meenakshi Kumar, a Landscape Architect says, “We can always design a space according to the ambience. The fixtures of the lights need to be such that they don’t glare into the trees but light up the pathways. There are many ways of minimising the interference with the environment and yet be able to achieve what is required to open up these spaces.”

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