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A new government plan to restrict access to green spaces has environmentalists up in arms.
Bangalore’s authorities, meanwhile, say they intend to charge citizens for the identity cards. Citizens, already livid about the usurping of their access to a public space, are outraged that there is a fee for the identity card.
The parks are also a gathering ground for street children, elderly people, migrant workers and other marginalized poor who cannot afford any charge. In a country that affords little privacy to the young, the parks have also served as a sanctuary to the romantically inclined.
The identity card and the charge is an exercise in futility, some feel. “The fee they are charging is not even enough to provide identity card checks at park entry points,” said Vijay Kumar, an employee in a government-owned bank.
Kumar has lived in the vicinity of Lalbagh and walked the park as part of a two-decade old morning ritual.
In Bangalore, the fear is that the parks are just a beginning and soon, there will be nothing public about the city’s public spaces.