Residents of Bamboo Bazaar in Bengaluru, who have been protesting the controversial realignment of a metro station in the Cantonment area, received support from the MP of Bengaluru Central constituency PC Mohan, who plans to meet Namma Metro officials soon.
“I will meet BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola on Monday to understand the reason for shifting the Cantonment Metro station alignment. Since we are working towards a suburban rail, the original location will be convenient. Otherwise, the purpose of public transport is defeated," the BJP MP told Deccan Chronicle.
The residents of the area had already opposed the proposed construction of a metro station on the Madina Masjid grounds which acts as a playground for local children.
The MP added that he was not formally informed about the decision to change the location of the metro station, instead of the previously proposed integrated metro on a plot near the cantonment station.
“I will take up the matter with both the Union Urban Development Ministry and the BMRCL on why the original alignment cannot be maintained,” Mohan told The Hindu.
Taking to Facebook later, Mohan said, “It is not in the interest of commuters to locate the Cantt Metro station in Bamboo Bazaar as it defeats the very purpose of encouraging the use of public transport.”
Despite protests by residents, metro authorities went ahead with soil testing procedures. Following this, locals and representatives of the Masjid are now planning to launch a campaign, asking the BMRCL to stick to its original plan.
While the BMRCL said that the change of location was done keeping in mind that acquiring the BBMP ground was easier than the railway land, the railway officials told the media that it does not have any
problem to give land for the purpose of Namma Metro.
This episode of citizen activism against an infrastructural project in the city is not an isolated incident. The state government and civic agencies like the BBMP and the BDA have faced the ire of citizen
activists in the city for proposing infrastructure projects without proper public consultation, most notably in the case of the infamous steel flyover project.
Recently residents of many localities of Bengaluru have criticised the BBMP for setting up Indira Canteens at the cost of trees, playgrounds and heritage structures.
Indira Canteens, a pet project of the state government, was announced by CM Siddaramaiah during his budget speech in March. The CM had promised setting up 198 low-cost eateries like that of ‘Amma canteens’ introduced by the late J Jayalalithaa in the neighbouring state.