Palike scraps road through GKVK; officials to face music

A view of the GKVK campus. DH photo

In what could be termed a huge relief to the students and the faculty of Gandhi Krishi Vijnana Kendra (GKVK), the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Standing Committee on Major Works on Monday unanimously recommended that the Rs 31-crore project through the GKVK campus be scrapped.

The Committee also decided to slap notices on all the officials who “conspired” the project that would have shrunk the serene campus of the country’s premier agriculture university.

Former BBMP commissioner S Subramanya had reportedly tried to push the project.

Delegation

The members arrived at the decision after a delegation led by GKVK Vice-Chancellor Dr K Narayana Gowda had a detailed discussion with Standing Committee chairman H Ravindra and other members. The delegation comprised former vice-chancellors R Dwarakanath, G K Veeresh, Dr Srinivas and university board member Dr Prasanna.

The delegates appealed to the committee to spare the campus spread over 880 acres, as land is the primary requirement for any agriculture varsity.

Dwarakanath said the university had already lost 350 acres to various government offices. The offices were somehow related to agriculture and hence it was not a major damage. But the road project was a blow to the rich biodiversity of the university, he said.

The delegates complained against former BBMP commissioner Subramanya for meddling with the university.

"He (Subramanya) tried to push this project but could not execute it because of our opposition. Later, he became the principal secretary of the agriculture department and an important member of our university board. Many of the board members buckled under pressure at a meeting on the road that was to cut through GKVK," Dwarakanath said.

He said 900 trees were felled the day the agriculture department cleared the project.

After a discussion with the other members of the committee, Ravindra informed the delegation members in the presence of mediapersons that it was the opinion of the committee to shelve the project. He claimed that the in-charge minister of Bangalore, R Ashoka, and BBMP commissioner Siddaiah were also opposed to the project.

A proposal in this regard will be tabled in the Council meeting, and once approved, it will be forwarded to the government, Ravindra said.

He said the Palike had spent about Rs 21 crore on the project and accountability will be fixed on persons involved in “benefiting a section of people”. Notices will be issued on Monday.

Hinting at action against Subramanya who took voluntary retirement, Ravindra said officials found responsible, even if retired, would not be spared.

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