BENGALURU: The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) seems firm that it will build a Metro station at near the Madina Masjid grounds on New Bamboo Bazaar Road under the Phase-2 project, but local residents are strongly opposed to the idea. Undaunted, Metro authorities say they will convince the residents about the need to have the station there.
Metro authorities have even started soil testing at the grounds adjacent to the masjid in Pulakeshinagar ward. But local residents, representatives of a religious institution, vendors and others are opposing it. They are now planning to start a campaign demanding that BMRCL stick to its original plan of having the station close to Cantonment railway station.
“We are clueless. Nobody approached us. Neither did they consult us before taking such a decision nor did we ask for a Metro station here,’’ said Saif Sahil, a member of Bamboo Bazar Residents Welfare Association.
Shakeel Ahmed, a resident of Bharathinagar too echoed similar thoughts. “They should have at least consulted us. After all, it is we who use the service and not officials. They cannot decide on the alignment according to their whims and fancies,’’ Shakeel said.There are at least four schools in the vicinity of the grounds. The roughly 2-acre plot is the only open playground in the locality. “All these years, we used this grounds for various occasions including sports meets, annual days and other occasions. If an underground Metro station comes here, the vast area will be shrunk and they will not allow us to use this space anymore due to security reasons. Where should be go?’’ Mahesh (name changed), a school teacher who works in one of the schools asked.
“During Ramzaan and other special occasions, the ground is used for offering prayers. If a Metro station comes here, the masjid structure will be damaged. People across the locality come here to offer prayers. This is a sentimental issue,’’ said a person who works with the masjid.
Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) Mahendra Jain, however, defended the government’s decision. “Bamboo Bazaar is thickly populated area and more people will be benefited if the station come up here rather than Cantonment area,’’ he said.On his part, BMRCL Managing Director Pradeep Singh Kharola said Metro authorities will go visit the area in the coming days and convince the people.
Tell us how much space is needed: Councillor
The Metro station is proposed to be built in Pulakeshinagar ward of Pulakeshinagar Assembly Constituency. Ward councillor Abdul Raqueeb Zakeer said the a huge play ground. “There is no problem in using 30,000 to 40,000 sqft of land at one corner. This space is not utilised by people, so it’s okay to use the space for a Metro station,’’ he said. He said he will organise an interaction meet with BMRCL. “They should tell us how much space will be used,’’ he said.
Children from Sulthangunta, in and around Pulikeshinagar, Bharathinagar, Shivajinagar, Rajiv Gandhi
Colony and other places play here every day. The next nearest playground is some 3 km away
People use the grounds to offer prayers during Eid and other special occasions
There are 4-5 government as well as private schools which use the grounds for various occasions including sports meet, annual day and other occasions.