Monday, October 26, 2009

Metro robs photographers' smiles

Metro robs photographers' smiles

Tourists are keeping off Vidhana Soudha, leaving these lensmen with no one to shoot

Sunitha Rao R. Bangalore

The Namma Metro has robbed the smiles off Bangalore's tourist photographers in the Vidhana Soudha area. "We have been in the profession for more than 15 years. But with the metro coming up in front of Vidhana Soudha, the future seems bleak for us, as tourists are not quite interested in visiting this place now. Also, the work has spoilt the beauty here," said Satish S, a tourist photographer.
All the 25 photographers here have only one question to ask, "Is the metro necessary in this part of the city?"
The upcoming BMRCL project on Ambedkar Veedhi, in front of the Soudha, has disrupted the daily work of these 25 lensmen. "Our daily bread depends on tourists visiting Vidhana Soudha, a monument that symbolises the city," said Raju R, another photographer.
"Metro work began here about two-and-a-half months ago. Since then, tourists haven't preferred to even enter this road. And even if any tourist wishes to be photographed by us, part of the metro mess also finds its way into the picture, along with the blue sheds that have been erected along the stretch for the work," lamented Basavaraju Patel, another photographer.
Satish added, "Tourists ask us to try and block the metro work from the photographs, but it is not possible. As a result, neither the tourists nor are we happy with the pictures."
It's not just the photographers but many tourists as well who do not seem to be very happy with the metro work in the Vidhana Soudha area.
"I visited the Vidhana Soudha about 10 years back, when I was in school. The city has grown so much now. But the metro has completely spoilt the rich beauty of the Vidhana Soudha," said Pushpavathi MV, a visitor from Gulbarga.
Photographers said that their earnings have been halved since the metro work started.
"We used to earn about Rs300-400 a day, but now we struggle to make even Rs100-150. We are unable to earn even the investment we make. It is a very tough phase that we are going through," Satish added.
Their problems, however, are only going to worsen in a month's time once the entire stretch of Ambedkar Veedhi, from the GPO circle to Gopal Gowda Circle will be closed for traffic by metro officials.
"We need to shift from here in a month's time. But we feel that the government is only inviting problems by allowing the metro to run along the Vidhana Soudha. The safety of this building is jeopardised by this. What if a bomb is planted in a train? It will make it easier for miscreants to attack Vidhana Soudha," Raju said, adding that the metro should have taken a different route altogether.


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