Sunday, January 17, 2010

Protest over Kamaraj Road-widening work

Protest over Kamaraj Road-widening work

Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: Hundreds participated in a demonstration here on Saturday to protest against the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s decision to begin work on widening the Kamaraj Road near Commercial Street.

More than 400 persons comprising members of the Kamaraj Road Traders, Temples and Residents’ Association cited loss of livelihood as one of the main reasons for the protest.

Close to 20 ft. on either side of the road had been marked for demolition in November, but BBMP had not issued them notices. “They say that the work is in the second phase of road widening and will begin soon,” said Syed Fazlullah, association member.

According to him, there are about 12 temples on this road, and each of them has been here since the pre-Independence era.

“The famous Vittoba and Panduranga temples are over 130 years old. They are of historical significance and should not be demolished without a second thought,” said one of the protesters.

“In fact, they should be conferred with the status of a monument.”

Mr. Fazllulah said some 700-800 small and medium-sized commercial establishments would be destroyed due to the road widening. There were also several houses that would be affected.

“People have nowhere else to go, and are worried that the next road they move to will also be widened,” said Mr. Fazllulah.

Protesters also expressed anger over the BBMP reneging on its promise of a bridge across a drain on Kamaraj Road.

“We were promised it would be built within 100 days, and 70 days later, there is no progress,” said a protester. “The slow pace has inconvenienced us greatly.”

The protesters were also angry about the road becoming a “dump yard”.

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