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‘Go slow’ approach to building demolition

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SURVEY: Regional Commissioner Harsh Gupta inspecting the marking made by the authorities for demolition of a portion of a building for road widening in Gulbarga on Thursday.
SURVEY: Regional Commissioner Harsh Gupta inspecting the marking made by the authorities for demolition of a portion of a building for road widening in Gulbarga on Thursday.

Special Correspondent

Authorities cautious in implementing road widening work in Gulbarga

GULBARGA: Despite the overwhelming support for demolition of impediments on important roads to widen them as per the Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) of Gulbarga city, approved by the State Government, the authorities have decided to adopt a “go slow” approach while implementing the plan only to avoid getting caught in legal complications during the drive.

The major resistance to the drive launched by Regional Commissioner Harsh Gupta was from traders in Bande Bazaar and Kiran Bazaar, supported by the Hyderabad Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HKCCI).

In the case of three other roads identified by the Regional Commissioner for widening, there was little resistance and even people who were lose part of their buildings, including commercial complexes, have volunteered to remove the impediments as per the marking done by the city corporation and other departments concerned.

The road from Bande Bazaar to the Humnabad Base in Nehru Gunj had been the main cause of worry for the officials involved in the demolition drive and the road, which is 30 feet wide, has been a major source of traffic jams.

The CDP, approved in 1999, had fixed the road width from Bande Bazaar to the Humnabad base at 50 feet and the Regional Commissioner had fixed the road width slightly at a higher side at 66 feet after consulting the officials of different departments and taking into account the volume of traffic on the road.

However, the width fixed by the Regional Commissioner is not acceptable to many traders. The traders, who initially opposed any road widening, have now accepted it and have started demanding compensation for the portions of their building that would be lost if demolition is taken up.

Mr. Gupta had said that the government would not pay any compensation in the form of cash. But building owners who lost portions of their buildings would be permitted to raise their buildings vertically for twice the size of the portion they lost during demolition.

The deadlock on the demand for compensation by the traders remains unresolved. Mr. Gupta had also made it clear that he had a open mind on talking with traders and their representatives, including HKCCI, and was confident that he would be able to persuade them to accept the proposal.

Any widening of roads, particularly in a commercial locality, would only help in increasing the volume of business which would help the business community, he said.

People’s cooperation

Meanwhile, owners of buildings between Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Chowk and Rashtrapathi Chowk, Rashtrapathi Chowk and Kothari Bhavan and Kothari Bhavan and Ram Mandir, where markings have been completed on the extent of the portions of the buildings to be demolished, have started moving out furniture, and in some cases, the owners have themselves started demolition work.

Mr. Gupta, who had earlier visited the some of the roads where widening work would be taken up, on Thursday conducted a detailed survey of buildings between Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Chowk and Rashtrapathi Chowk.

He explained to the worried building owners the need for taking up road widening. However, the authorities did not take up any demolition work today.

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