Row over road-widening

Row over road-widening

PWD threatened to raze buildings without issuing prior notices

Police guard the Oorgaum-Robertsonpet Road, closed for widening work, much to the chagrin of shopowners in the area. dh photo

But, owners of the buildings and offices on the road in the central business district of the town are angry with officers of the Public Works Department (PWD) for ‘threatening to demolish the buildings’ without issuing any intimation.

The owners were happy to vacate and give away their land to the proposed two-lane, but the ‘autocratic’ behaviour of the PWD officials is said to have upset them.

The narrow road, which also links to railway station, had seen several accidents due to dense vehicles. Converting the road to two-lane at a cost of Rs 70 lakh had hence cheered all, the commercial establishments and the residents.

But, the PWD officials have breached the protocol by suddenly appearing with the earth movers to demolish the buildings, said officials of certain private and government establishments. The branch manager of the State Bank of Mysore and the Bharat Sanchar Network Limited (BSNL) have lodged a complaint in this regard.

The bank officials said that it didn’t behove the PWD officials to threaten demolishing the building that housed the bank where cash worth Rs 10 crore was kept.

It raised security issues as the bank officials would have to take the risk of shifting the huge sum and other important records at once.

Both upset

The BSNL officials had filed a complaint with the police, seeking action against the PWD for causing inconvenience. The traders, who have to part with their buildings for the road, are also unhappy.

They said: “As the road will be widened 33 metres from the centre, it will require demolition of entire structures. The shops which are five to 10 sq feet are completely demolished, pushing the shop owners to the streets. Had they issued notification or informed us much early, we could have thought of some alternatives. Out of blue, they have brought the machines to demolish the buildings,” the traders said.

They have also another grouse against the road widening project. Only 280 metre stretch of the road is being converted into two-lane, excluding major accident zones. Had they extended the road up to the railway station, number of accidents would have come down, they suggested.

There is no clarity on the project as the PWD officials and former legislator Y Sampangi differed in their statements. The PWD should publish the details of the project, the residents and the shop owners have demanded.

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