'Save Balabrooie' campaign gains pace

'Save Balabrooie' campaign gains pace

Various activist groups and the City residents are up in arms against plans to demolish the iconic Balabrooie guest house in the city, to make way for the legislators’ club.

A meeting was convened at Ravindra Kalakshetra by voluntary groups and activists to discuss the measures that need to be taken to stop the demolition of the heritage site.
Volunteers from B Pac, INTACH, By-Gone Bangalore have joined hands with residents of the City and voiced strong disapproval of the government’s move.

Suggesting alternatives, one of the members said that it would be ideal that the original building is retained and the surroundings utilised for constructing a club. “There is a good 150 feet between the compound wall and the structure. If at all it is inevitable to have the club here, this 150 feet can be utilised,” he said.

Pointing out that out of over 1,800 sites that were considered worth preserving in 2004, just a handful had remained, a member from By-Gone Bangalore said that it was high time that the Karnataka Town Planning Act was strictly enforced.

“We are way behind cities such as Delhi and Mumbai. If immediate action is not taken, even the remaining sites will soon be lost,” another senior resident said.

Even as the Bahujan Samaj Party has filed a PIL, several online petitions have been initiated. Following a report in Deccan Herald on October 21 that the demolition of the building might begin soon, a campaign ‘Petitioning the chief minister of Karnataka - Stop the demolition of a heritage building’ has been started on Change.org.

Displeasure is evident, with various sections of the society taking to the social media platform, demanding that the demolition be stopped. A Facebook page titled ‘Siddaramaiah: Save the Historic Balabrooie Guest House’ that has over 160 likes states “Are we to lose every structure that gives Bangalore its identity? This rampant ravaging of our beautiful city by "leaders" who are supposed to protect it is a disgrace. It, and they, must be stopped, before our city and we citizens lose every vestige of self-respect.”

Another page ‘Save and Preserve the Balabrooie Heritage Building and Compound’ was started six days ago against the decision.
DH News Service

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