Plan to change name of St Aloysius Road draws flak

The authorities at St Aloysius College have vehemently opposed the Mangaluru City Corporation’s decision to rename the road from Catholic Club at Hampankatta to Dr B R Ambedkar Circle (Jyoti Circle).

The stretch is already named St Aloysius Road but the Corporation has decided to rechristen it ‘Mulky Sundararama Shetty Road’ in honour of the founder of Vijaya Bank. The regional office of the bank is located on the same stretch abutting Jyoti Circle.

Addressing media on Thursday, rector of the college Rev Fr Dionysius Vaz said, “The stretch has been popularly known as St Aloysius Road, after it was named by the City Corporation authorities 20 years ago. Most importantly, the campus is a landmark and the road encompassing a part of the campus is aptly named after the institution. The college chapel with rare paintings is also one of the prominent destinations for tourists, who can access the chapel without much ado with the help of the road leading to campus.”

Vaz strongly demanded the authorities to revoke the decision, but also insisted on settling the issue amicably, without any confrontations.

No complaints

Registrar of the college Dr A M Narahari clarified that the college authorities have no qualms about Shetty, who has immensely contributed to the banking sector. The bone of contention, however, is replacing the name ‘Aloysius’.

For record, Narahari said, most of the prominent buildings and also a road in Bengaluru bears the name of Shetty. The road that was earlier known as Light House Hill (LHH) Road as well as Bavutagudde Road, was renamed St Aloysius by the Corporation authorities, concurred Narahari, who showed photographs of a cement plaque on the compound wall of a building on the same stretch with the name St Aloysius Road engraved on it.

Answering a query whether any objections were invited by the Corporation in this regard in keeping with the procedure, Narahari, quoted the City Corporation authorities, saying, “According to the authorities, a notification inviting objections to naming the road was published in newspapers two years ago. Barring that, there was no intimation in this regard from the Corporation authorities, as it was their responsibility to seek the opinion of the college authorities too.”

When a petition in this regard was submitted to Mayor Kavita Sanil, however, she claimed ignorance about the existing name. N G Mohan from St Aloysius College Alumni Association said, “The very development follows a memorandum in this regard from one of the employee unions of Vijaya Bank.”

Varsity next

St Aloysius College principal Fr Praveen Martis said, “It was an unwise move on the part of the civic body, when plans are in the making to elevate the college to a status of university.”

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