Amidst protests and verbal altercation between environmentalists and the supporters of the people representatives, Minister for Public Works H C Mahadevappa performed the ground breaking ceremony for the widening works of the Hunsur Road, between Paduvarahalli 4th Main and Jaldarshini guesthouse here on Monday.
As cases of accidents have been on the rise, the Union government has released Rs 12 crore to upgrade the 850 metre stretch of the road to six-lane. As many as 30 century-old trees would have to be uprooted for the works.
The members of Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP), who gathered in front of the guesthouse, opposed the works and demanded to 'cut speed of vehicles, instead of cutting trees'. The protesters alleged that the works have been sanctioned to loot the money of the people.
When MP Pratap Simha and MLA Vasu arrived at the venue, to attend the programme, the protesters raised slogans against them. Pacifying them, the MP said, "Protesters are bothered about four trees, but, we want to save the lives of the people. Even the family members of the accident victims support the works."
When the programme started, supporters of Vasu and Simha, took the protesters to task, which resulted in a verbal altercation. The supporters used abusive words and also pushed the environmentalists. However, Devaraja police, who arrived at the spot, controlled the crowd and sent the agitators away from the venue.
The agitators said that curve on the stretch is not the reason for the accidents. "Overspeed, drink and driving, use of mobile phones, result in accidents. Though the warning board has been fixed, the drivers neglect it. If the government's intention is to avoid accidents, why do the authorities fail to fill potholes?" they questioned.
They threatened the people's representatives of teaching them a lesson in the upcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. MGP president S D Saokar, leaders Bhami V Shenoy, and Vasanthkumar Mysurumutt were present.