RR Nagar road to be named after DKS' dad

The tender advertisement issued by the BBMP.

Naming and renaming roads is something politicians love to do. So it was not surprising when Bengaluru’s former mayor Sampath Raj last year proposed to name a road in Rajarajeshwari Nagar after Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar’s father, Dodda Alada Halli Kempegowda.

Fast forward to 2019 and the minister, in a bizarre twist, said he had no clue about it nor any idea as to why the civic body wants to do it even as a board with Shivakumar’s father’s name has already been erected. 

Spanning more than a kilometre, the road in question leads to ‘Global Academy of Technology’, where Shivakumar is the chairperson.

On Friday, the BBMP set the ball rolling on the issue by calling for objections, if any, by the public before August 4.

Sources in the BBMP told DH that the proposal to name the road after Shivakumar’s father was proposed by then mayor Sampath Raj in July 2018. Interestingly, towards the end of his term, Raj even obtained the Council’s approval for renaming the road, which is now pending ratification.

When DH reached out to Nalini M Manju, the corporator of RR Nagar, she was clueless about the move. “I have no idea about it and I will not comment on this. Also, I do not know who brought this before the council,” she said.

Acknowledging his actions, former Mayor and DJ Halli corporator Sampath Raj said, “I proposed it following public demand. Subsequently, it was passed in the council.”

Elaborating on Shivakumar’s father’s contribution, Sampath Raj said, “He was a social worker and built the engineering college. Several people have told me that he gave free education to students from a poor rural background. These contributions were enough to name the road after him.”

However, Padmanabha Reddy, Leader of Opposition in BBMP, lashed out at the move. 

“Sampath Raj did not discuss the issue in council and approved on his own. Roads or any public place should be named after great people who have immensely contributed to society. But in this case, it is only a political move to impress Shivakumar.” 

Talking about the issue, Shivakumar told DH that he was not aware of the move.

“I really don’t know about this and I don’t understand why they renamed the road after my father,” said the minister.

“We had given up a few metres of land for building the road in the area. But I do not want the road to be named after my father. I don’t know who proposed and approved this idea. As we have already made enough name in the society, I will raise an objection in this matter and request the BBMP to remove it.”

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