B’luru Citizen Groups Say ‘No’ to Metro Station on Playground
BMRCL plans to to take over a public playground to build metro station.
Home to one of the busiest railway stations in Bengaluru, the Cantonment area has been the subject of controversy owing to the proposed Metro station. While one group of citizen activists are up in arms over the Metro station coming up on a public playground, another set of Bengalureans are opposing it on the grounds that it will be a kilometre away from the existing railway station.
Part of Phase II of Namma Metro, the line connecting Dairy Circle and Nagavara, via Cantonment was expected to make connectivity to the railway station easier. But instead of integrating the Metro and the railway station, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) chose to locate the station a kilometre away.
The rationale, BMRCL pointed out, was that it is easier to acquire land from the BBMP (Bengaluru’s city corporation) than the Indian railways. But South-Western Railways had recently issued a statement that it has no problem allotting land for the Metro Station. BMRCL, however, is still going ahead with soil test at the BBMP playground.
BMRCL claims that the proposed station would be an underground station and post-construction, the ground will be made available to the public. However, the ground is expected to be out of bounds for the children of the area for at least two years.
Those opposing the project argue that Bengaluru is already struggling with open spaces and that taking land for the project is illogical. A Facebook page has been created by protestors, where signatures are being collected, demanding that the government change the location of the new metro station
As the protests gather steam, the local MP has also announced that he will take up the matter with the Ministry of Urban Development. "I am surprised that BMRCL has changed the alignment of the Nagavara-Gottigere line and bypassed Cantonment railway station. It is not in the interest of commuters...as it defeats the purpose of encouraging use of public transport. I will take up the matter with the ministry of urban development and BMRCL, " MP PC Mohan told The Times of India.
After the MP’s statement, the local corporator too has announced his support to the cause. Talking to The Hindu’s Sampath Kumar, councillor Vasanthnagar, said: “I have raised this issue in the BBMP council. I want to understand how a playground can be allotted for such projects when there are strict rules against such a move.”
Despite all these objections, the BMRCL plans to go ahead with the playground for its proposed station, while the BBMP officials have also said permission for the same will be granted.
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