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Tension after Metro demolition

Staff Reporter

Property owners on R.V. Road claim that they were served no notice

— PHOTO: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST:Demolition on in full swing on Monday to widen the R.V. Road in Bangalore to facilitate Namma Metro project.

Bangalore: There was tension near South End Circle in Basavangudi here on Monday morning when Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) officials decided to go ahead with the demolition of several structures on R.V. Road for the Namma Metro project.

The demolition triggered a wave of protests and police had to be called in to ensure that the situation did not go out of hand.

Trouble started when BMRCL officials, under heavy police bandobast, came prepared to demolish commercial buildings as well as residences on R.V. Road.

Angry property owners tried to fight demolition contending they had not been served with any notice and the matter was still pending in the High Court of Karnataka.

‘Huge loss'

“We were given no notice. All of a sudden, the officials came with earthmovers and started throwing furniture and other valuables on the road. We have incurred a huge loss,” claimed Chandra V., owner of Shanti Sagar Hotel.

She said that they got to know that the Metro officials would demolish their property only the night before.

“We went to Basavanagudi Police Station to lodge a complaint. It was registered after much reluctance on the part of the police,” she said.

‘Given no time'

Ms. Chandra alleged that BMRCL officials had disregarded the High Court's stay order and that they did not give them any time to clear their property.

“We were also not told how much land will be acquired. When my husband tried to protest, he was manhandled by the police. Some property owners were taken to the Basavanagudi Police Station and held there till the buildings were demolished,” she added. Raja Shekhar, owner of Rajasthani Paratha Point, said he had lost all his investment. “We were not even given time to clear our property. Most of our belongings were lost or stolen in the mêlée,” he said.

The police said they had arrested eight persons for obstruction following a complaint by BMRCL officials. They were released later.

‘No violation'

Meanwhile, BMRCL's spokesperson said there was no violation of any court order. “The residents had challenged our acquisition order. The court issued a stay order on acquisition of 274 sq m and cleared the remaining 2,225 sq m,” the spokesperson said.

BMRCL only demolished buildings in the area cleared by the court, the spokesperson added.

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