Citizens protest move to demolish Janatha Bazaar

The citizens, along with members of the CRISP Foundation, staged a protest to create awareness about the need to preserve the 83-year-old building. (DH Photo)

AT least 100 people came together on Wednesday to urge authorities to save the historic Janatha Bazaar on KG Road.

The citizens, along with members of the CRISP Foundation, staged a protest to create awareness about the need to preserve the 83-year-old building.

Recently, the Public Works Department branded the Janatha Bazaar "very dangerous" for human occupation and planned to raze the structure immediately after the state Assembly elections.

Many shopkeepers complained that the authorities have installed huge barricades, blanking out parts of the pre-Independence building from public view.

Kumar Jahgirdrar, president of CRISP Foundation, said: "The water and electricity connections in the building have been cut-off. This has caused a lot of inconvenience to shopkeepers and women, and the officials are harassing the locals and preventing them from entering the building so that they can start the demolition to construct a concrete jungle."

The activists see this as a clear sign that the building will be razed, and it will meet the same fate as the Krumbiegel Hall in Lalbagh, which was demolished on November 22, 2017.

The Janatha Bazaar was dedicated to the public on September 11, 1935, by the Yuvaraj of Mysore, Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar Bahadur.

The protesters are planning to sign a memorandum, requesting the governor and state chief secretary to take appropriate steps to stop the demolition plans of the government agencies and protect and preserve the heritage building.

The protest was led by Jahgirdrar and was supported by environmental activists and senior women members of the Sumangali Seva ashram.

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