The owner of Rex, however, said that the concerns and fears of the residents was "misguided".

Bengaluru residents oppose multiplex planned to replace Rex theatre
news Civic Issues Friday, July 19, 2019 - 17:09

Residents of central Bengaluru who reside on Rest House Road in the Central Business District are opposing the construction of a multiplex on the land where the popular single-screen theatre Rex stood. The multiplex is being built in a partnership by the original owner with real estate major Prestige.

The Resident Welfare Association of Museum Road, Rest House Road and Rest House Cresent submitted their objections to the office of the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner on Wednesday and highlighted their objection, and also pointed out errors in the way the administration drew borders of the property.

In their objection, the residents of Rest House Road stated that the proposed centre is being constructed within 50 metres of a residential area and will lead to major traffic issues. The residents also pointed out an error by the district authority in their notice inviting objections from residents.

They said that the western boundary of the said plot is not Rest House Road but Plot No 11 of Rest House Road, which was, until recently, an independent bungalow. 

“The Western boundary of plot 169 Brigade Road and the Eastern Boundary of plot no 11 Rest House Road, have less than 20 ft in common. In view of the above, there is no case for treating both these plots as one single plot. If the West boundary is shown as Rest House Road It means one commercial plot and one residential plot are merged to create one large "commercial plot- for exploitation,” they said.

One of their objections stated: “Any commercial development of this scale along with its attendant problems of noise and dust pollution, traffic and traffic disturbance, garbage, crime, drunken behaviour and the overall increase in the load to the infrastructure of the area which is already ill-equipped, will be highly disruptive to the peace and quiet and the normal life of these elderly residents.”

The letter to the Bengaluru Urban DC was also copied to the BBMP Commissioner, MLA NA Haris, City Police Commissioner Alok Kumar and the Director General of Fire and Emergency Services MN Reddi.

This objection also highlighted their prior objection to any form of further commercialisation in their neighbourhood, which was signed by the 131 residents in February and given to BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad.

Saleh Saim, a resident of the locality said, “We have just given our objection to the authorities. As per the rules, the width of the road is also not sufficient for granting permission for a multiplex. We want to record our objection well before there is any financial investment from the owner's side. We have seen problems that are witnessed in localities like Indiranagar and Koramangala. So we want to nip the problem in the bud.” 

Anil Kapur, who used to run Rex theatre and is the owner of the land, however, dismissed the concerns. 

“All the concerns and fears of the residence are misguided. The Rest House Road exit is only for emergencies. I wish the residents had come to us for any clarification. Even earlier, we had the option of using that part of the property for parking but we didn't do the same to safeguard the interests of the neighbours,” he said. 

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