The plea filed by Kian Medhi Kumar in Karnataka High Court, through his father, states that the government’s decision to allow Vehicular Traffic inside the Cubbon Park is an action of ‘environmentally irresponsible respondents’ which is ‘directly affecting’ his health, well-being, and quality of life.
The High Court bench in response to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), has sent a notice to the respondent directing them to file their statement of objections. No interim relief was granted by the court as prayed by the petitioner counsel because as per the court order of interim relief would amount to the Final Order.
The Division Bench comprised of Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy issued notice to the Karnataka government, Bengaluru City Traffic Police, Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority, and the Directorate of Urban Land Transport.
As per the plea, the level of suspended particulate matter and carbon monoxide at Cubbon Park had reduced significantly during the lockdown period.
The plea also cited the research study conducted by the Indian Institute of Science which recommends that closing the park to vehicular traffic had a positive impact on the environment around it, and allowing movement of vehicles through the park did little to improve the traffic situation in the surrounding areas.
The petition also states,
“The idea of ensuring that there are no motorized 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 plea relies upon the study by the research team of Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, it concluded that there was no substantial reduction in traffic or improvement of volume to capacity ratio if the park is open for traffic. As per the research, if the traffic is allowed inside the park, then there would be a net reduction in CO2 and PM 2.5 emissions.
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