Features Sunday, October 26, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | October 25, 2014 | 06:54 pm IST (Lat updated: October 26, 2014 | 10.48 am IST) Bangaloreans are voicing their strong disapproval of a reported proposal by the Karnataka government that could include demolishing parts of the iconic Balabrooie guest house to build a clubhouse for legislators there.  The 150-year-old guest house, situated in the heart of the city, is considered an integral part of the city’s rich heritage. The clubhouse has played host to several eminent personalities including Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, former PM Indira Gandhi and Engineer Sir M Visveswaraya.  “We want to save the soul of Bangalore. Bangalore’s soul lies in its people, its stories, its sites, and we are trying to protect that. If we lose our soul, we will be just another concrete city”, said Mohandas Pai, Vice president, Bangalore Political Action Committee (B PAC).  ( Image Courtesy: Siddaramaiah: Save the Historic Balabrooie Guest House Facebook Page ) Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is said to have suggested Balabrooie as the location of the club house following pressure from state legislators, who have been demanding, for quite some time now, a club similar to the Constitution Club of India in New Delhi meant for Parliamentarians. However, a written order regarding the exact location of the clubhouse has not yet been issued.  “We are proud of Bangalore’s heritage. Over the years, Bangalore has made huge technological developments and we are also proud of that. But we can’t lose our roots and that is why we want to preserve the city’s heritage sites”, said Veena Moorthyvijay, dance exponent and a Bangalore lover.  “Bangalore had some 4,000 heritage structures. Today we have just around 400 of them left. We have to protect them. The Balabrooie guest house also has several 100-year-old trees and they act as lung spaces of the city. We are strictly against the demolition”, she added.  ( Image Courtesy: Siddaramaiah: Save the Historic Balabrooie Guest House Facebook Page ) An online petition titled Save and Preserve the Balabrooie Heritage Building and Compound has already gathered 783 supporters and needs 217 more signatures.  The government is now said to be considering Kumara Krupa guest house as an alternative venue , states a report by The Times of India.  (Image Courtesy: Siddaramaiah: Save the Historic Balabrooie Guest House Facebook Page ) Naresh Narasimhan, an architect, is of the view that the government can build the guest house somewhere else. “There are just a few heritage structures left in Bangalore at present. We need to protect and preserve our city’s past and history; we owe it to our grandchildren. Bangalore has a specific culture that sets it apart from other cities, right from its people to its traditions and its architectural heritage. We do not want to lose that specific culture”, he said.  “We aren’t against the building of the club for legislators. We are just asking the government to build it elsewhere”, he added.  A peaceful protest has been planned at 11 am on Sunday at the Balabrooie Guest House. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tweeted on Sunday saying that state government had no plans of demolishing the structure. There is no proposal to demolish the Balabrooie Guest House. The Government has not taken a decision to alter or demolish it. #Balabrooie — Chief Minister (@CMofKarnataka) October 26, 2014
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