Namma Metro derails Jayanagar residents

V. Sriprakash, entrepreneur, pumped most of his savings into his dream home on East End Main Road in Jayanagar 9th Block here and had scheduled the housewarming for June 25.

His dream home has now turned a nightmare because it is slated to be acquired by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) for Namma Metro Phase II project.

It is not just Mr. Sriprakash’s property: the BMRCL is likely to acquire 98 buildings, including 54 residential properties, on East End Main Road and Vysya Bank Colony.

‘I checked with BMRCL’

“Before I started construction, I made it a point to go to BMRCL office and clarified the alignment with the officials. It was only after being assured that my site was nowhere near the proposed alignment, I took up construction. However now BMRCL is all set to acquire my home,” Mr. Sriprakash said, adding that he can’t bear the thought of his house being demolished.

Faced with the sudden shock that their properties would be acquired, the agitated residents lambasted BMRCL for not putting information about the change in alignment in the public domain.

Senior citizens

Senior citizen Y. Jayagopal, a resident of Vysya Bank Colony for over 35 years, said that the metro would eat up his jewellery shop that opened just three months back, setting him back by Rs. 10 lakh. “This area is home to about 34 families, mostly senior citizens. Why were we not informed about this sooner?”

He claimed that given the age and deteriorating health conditions of the aged residents of the area, compensation would not suffice.

Srinivasan Krishnan, senior citizen and resident of Casa Ansal Apartments for the past 12 years, said that 40 flats in Block A were all slated for acquisition.

“We are all worried about where to live after our homes are acquired. We are too old to work and our retirement and pension funds will not suffice. We are worried about our future.”

Commercial complexes too

Not just homes, commercial complexes that are in the last stage of construction are also in the line. Emirates Plaza, a commercial building in Vysya Bank Colony, ready to be occupied, is slated for demolition.

Madhusoodhan, a retired citizen who owns one block in Nikhil Embassy here, will lose half his property.

“I will not even be able to rent out the other half. This was my only source of income. Neither has the BMRCL given us any official notice stating the terms and conditions of vacating the building.”

Even as Bangalore waits with bated breath for Namma Metro to chug out onto the tracks, one wonders who will spare a thought to the citizens of the area whose life it has derailed.

RELATED NEWS

Realignment miffs IT park ownersJune 9, 2013

Public consultation soughtJune 6, 2013

More In: Bengaluru