Monday, July 21, 2008

Metro throws life off track

Metro throws life off track

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Fifty-year-old Nagaveni, a widow, finds herself in a financial crisis.

Her only source of income was the interest she earned from the bank where she had deposited the advance paid by her two tenants.

Now, the tenants have asked her to return the deposit since they want to move out before work on the Metro begins on the Chinmaya Mission hospital road.

Many residents in the vicinity have started looking for houses in other localities.

Metro authorities are set to begin civic work on the CMH Road, between Nataraja theatre and Indirangar 100-feet road and CMH road junction.

Consequently, commercial establishments and eateries are expected to suffer losses as the city police has banned vehicle movement on the road.

The CMH road shops and establishments association blamed the government for ignoring its appeal and demanded that a public hearing be held immediately.

“There are nearly 1,500 shops on this road. CMH road is known for serious shoppers. If the road is going to be barricaded, it will be impossible for us to unload material to stock our shops,’’ Imtiaz Ahmed, the association president said.

According to Dinakaran Kushalram, a resident of CMH Road, the ongoing civil work has caused inconvenience to the public, especially senior citizens.

“We are not against infrastructure development. But why is the government bent on having the Metro on a road which at certain points is not more than 45-feet wide. What is the guarantee the government will not seek additional land from us later?” Mr Dinakaran asked.

There are 32 banks and a number of ATMs here.

Besides, sweet shops, hotels and fast food joints along this road have to pull down shutters once the road is barricaded.

“Since trees have already been cut dust pollution has increased. Once the work begins it will be impossible to run an eatery,’’ said Santosh Dhavan. Vishnu Agarwal is in a bigger dilemma. If he can’t meet sales targets, his company will not provide him electrical gadgets he deals in.

“We work under pressure.

There is stiff competition to retain dealerships of electrical goods. I can’t tell my company in Japan that the Metro work has affected my work,” Mr Agarwal said.

But there are a few who are gearing up to endure problems when the work begins. “We have been fighting for many months, but the Metro is inevitable.

The government should have a strategy to ensure that shopkeepers do not suffer. It is not about a few days or weeks, the work might take years,” said Anand K., a shopkeeper.


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