The issue of the shifting of the Cantonment metro station from the original proposed site has not gone down well with the residents of the affected area. The Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limites(BMRCL) MD Pradeep Kharola is also in no mood to budge. The situation has reached some sort of an impasse in the recent days.
A few days ago, the Citizens for Bengaluru organised an interactive session on the same to which the BMRCL was invited but the metro authorities chose to shun the meeting saying print and digital media will be present. The response from the metro authorities attracted the wrath of the members of the forum as well as the residents.
The citizens forum says the metro project no longer resembles its tagline ‘Namma Bengaluru metro’ and instead should be changed to ‘Nimma Metro’ translating into ‘their metro’. They are finding it difficult to convince the BMRCL to not relocate the original metro station. The Citizens for Bengaluru allege that the metro authorities are taking ‘unilateral decisions’ in this case.
The people are now equating it with the former imposition of the steel bridge and the protests it evoked. Saying the steel bridge too was a ‘unilateral decision’ which ultimately had to be scrapped because the people did not need it. They demanded to know whether BMRCL was protecting vested interests.
The citizens have been demanding answers from the BMRCL on as to why there has been no explanation from them on shifting the location of the metro station. They are demanding a comprehensive reason for the metro station being shifted from in front of Cantonment Railway Station to Bamboo Bazaar, Shivajinagar.
The residents even wrote to MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar seeking his help in talking to the BMRCL in this case. The MP had written to Union Minster for Urban Development Narendra Singh Tomar and a copy of the same was submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah questioning this change in decision. Later on, the MP also spoke to MD Pradeep Kharola on the same.
BMRCL gave an answer to this question from the residents. On Thursday, September 21, they explained the reasons for changing the location of the Cantonment Metro station, claiming that the new alignment will save time and cost and will be safer than the original design.
In the case of the 2-km underground tunnel that needs to be constructed between Shivaji Nagar and Cantonment Railway station, there will no open space above. “We will have to demolish many buildings if we need to set right any problem with any tunnel boring machine. We will be forced to abandon the Line finally,” he said justifying the move.
MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been constantly championing the cause of the citizens and on this decision of the BMRCL had said: “If the citizens feel that having a metro at Cantonment is convenient then, BMRCL has to heed to the suggestion. There is no two way to look at it. Moreover, reasons by BMRCL should be a valid one that is proper, responsible & transparent. Because this decision will impact the next 40 years (& our future generation).
“BMRCL is a public company funded by tax payers’ money, they need to be answerable as to why this change in place. They as any other public company are here to service and they cannot blackmail poor and helpless citizens. According to me, the decision to move the Cantonment Metro station away is inexplicable. There is no logic behind it. Why at all should it be 800 metres way or 400 metres away when it can be at the same place?”