Chamarajpet traders firm on not allowing road widening

Reason: Debts, loans and loss of jobs that plague the traders who have managed to setup their business in Chamarajpet.

The call for bundh on Saturday showed BBMP the resolve of the people against the road widening project. Traders and shopkeepers who are living under a constant threat of losing their livelihood were found in large numbers across Chamarajpet.

“With the talk of the road widening process, 10 feet of my shop will be occupied. With loans to be repaid I will be in deep trouble if this happens,” says Gopi, who owns a stationary shop on the same stretch.

Tense situation

A lot of anxious people await the Government’s next move, hoping there will be some reprieve from the tense situation that exists in Chamarajpet. “Our business has been located here since my ancestral days, but with this proposed project my business will be in tatters. It is going to affect me and my family very badly. This is my home and I have nowhere to go,” said Jagannath, a helpless textile shop owner.

Ask Gopal Krishna, owner of Archies Gallery about the road widening project and he vociferously objects to it. “There are around 1,500 shops and about 500 houses in Chamarajpet, each shop has seven to eight workers, if the shops are demolished for about 12 feet then these people will be rendered jobless. The BBMP has provided only four feet to construct a three storied building, which is impossible,” he said.

Krishna added that there is a possibility of two nearby temples of Lord Ganesha and Hanuman that are likely to be demolished in Chamarajpet for this project.

However, with the BBMP bent upon widening this road, traders are at loss of words over the logic behind this exercise. The locals are not able to comprehend the reasons behind the road widening project when there already exists a 10 feet wide footpath that can be narrowed down.

Suggestions ranging from underpasses to withdrawing of parking facilities in the area were voiced by the shop owners.

“It is only due to the ongoing Metro work near K R market that traffic jams are a regular occurrence on this stretch. Once that is completed there will not be much traffic on these roads,” says Rajesh, another shopkeeper. There were others who believed that construction of an underpass may very well save the day for the people of Chamarajpet, even though it is time consuming.

“No need of widening the roads, instead they should construct an underpass which will save a lot of space,” said Gajendra, a shop keeper in Bazaar Street.

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