Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Mayor runs into road-widening rage

Mayor runs into road-widening rage

Downed shutters greeted SK Nataraj, who was escorted to safety in a van after ugly scenes marred his inspection visit to Jagajeevanaram Nagar

BK Lakshmikantha



Mayor SK Nataraj on Tuesday got a taste of public wrath running high against the proposed road-widening projects in the city.
The mayor, who was on a visit to Jagajeevanaram Nagar for inspection of road-widening projects, faced the public ire as residents protested against the project undertaken by the BBMP to widen the Goripalya Main Road. The project could see the demolition of a mosque, temple and church situated along the road.
Most shops in the area had downed their shutters as a mark of protest. The mayor was greeted by residents shouting slogans against the project. The situation threatened to turn ugly as the tempers ran high.
"People should not panic unnecessarily. We will consider the public opinion before taking up the road-widening project," Nataraj assured the agitated residents.
The mayor visited the locality on an invitation extended by Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmad Khan. The legislator explained to the mayor that the residents opposed the demolition as the project could demolish religious places which were marked for the road-widening project.
"I request the mayor not to disturb religious place in the road widening project. People are ready to give up their lands without any hassle. But the mayor should assure that religious sentiments are not hurt in the name of road widening," said Khan.
Responding to Khan's request, the mayor said that BBMP officers were in consultation with the public before taking up any road widening project.
"I assure the people that religious institutions will not be demolished during road widening. We will acquire the land from the adjacent Police Quarters and change the alignment to carry out the road widening work," said Nataraj.
The mayor was accompanied by Chamarajpet corporator BV Ganesh and Rayapuram corporator CK Radhakrishna.

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