Come May, Bengaluru’s iconic Fatima Bakery will likely shut its doors as the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) will demolish the building for Metro construction. The BMRCL will begin construction for underground sections of the Gottigere-Nagavara line in May and several iconic eateries near Vellara Junction will be demolished, including Fatima Bakery, Hotel Tom’s and a portion of All Saints Church.
A meat-lover’s delight, Fatima Bakery is one of Bengaluru’s oldest eateries, which had opened in 1957. Speaking to TNM, VF David, owner of Fatima Bakery, says that shutting down the bakery has been a heart-breaking process. “The bakery was located in Johnson Market when it started. We moved to the Vellara Junction area in 1961 and have been here ever since. It is painful to shut the place down. But we are opening in a new location,” David adds.
Fatima Bakery will open in May near Sacred Heart Church on Richmond Road.
Hotel Tom’s, better known as Tom’s, known for its mouth-watering Mangaluru cuisine, is also shutting down. Tom’s is located right next to Fatima Bakery currently and is known for its seafood dishes. Speaking to TNM, Prashant, manager of Tom’s, said that they would be shutting down in a couple of months as well.
“We will be relocating to Brigade Tower on Brigade Road. We have already opened another outlet in Koramangala. Once we close this place, we will move to Brigade Tower,” Prashant added.
In 2017, BMRCL had decided to acquire over 30 properties near Vellara Junction in order to have two entry and exit points for the Vellara Junction Metro station. However, due to several disputes with landowners, BMRCL decided to have only one entry and exit point, which would come up near Fatima Bakery.
In February this year, Larson and Toubro bagged the contract for constructing the underground segment between Vellara Junction and Shivajinagar, and Shivajinagar and Pottery Town. This stretch will include five Metro stations - Vellara Junction, MG Road, Shivajinagar, Cantonment and Pottery Town.
Speaking to TNM, BMRCL Director Ajay Seth said that the agency was currently finalising the compensation amounts to be given to landowners.
“Karnataka Industrial Area Development Bank is going to fund the land acquisition. The Church of South India (CSI), which owns most of the properties near Vellara Junction, is slated to get over Rs 90 crore, and the rest will be given to other landowners,” a senior BMRCL official said.
The source said that the land where Fatima Bakery and Hotel Tom’s currently stands belongs to CSI and that the owners would have to take it up with the Church if they want compensation. “Owners of Fatima Bakery, Tom’s and the petrol pump will get compensation only for the structural damage but not money for the land itself,” the source added.
BMRCL sources say that members of the All Saints Church near Shoolay Circle have urged the BMRCL not to acquire a portion of the church as it is a heritage structure. The members of the church were not given notice for acquisition of the 52,022 sq ft of land. “If this land is acquired, then both gates of the church would be closed and people cannot go in and out. BMRCL is trying to find another way to see if we can do without this land. However, if we compromise on space, it could lead to structural defects in the Metro, which is not ideal,” the official added.