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Demolition drive to facilitate road-widening resumes

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Making way: Buildings on the road from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Chowk to Rashtrapathi Chowk being demolished in Gulbarga on Saturday.
Making way: Buildings on the road from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Chowk to Rashtrapathi Chowk being demolished in Gulbarga on Saturday.

Special Correspondent

Drive was launched a month ago; 32 roads to be widened in phases

Meeting with representatives of HKCCI, traders to be held on Tuesday

Rs. 100-crore grant given by Government will be used to beautify the city

GULBARGA: After a gap of more than a month, the demolition drive to facilitate road-widening work was resumed on Saturday with the demolition of buildings on both sides of the road between Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Chowk and Rashtrapathi Chowk and Kothari Bhavan and Ram Mandir Road.

While the road from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Chowk to Rashtrapathi Chowk will be widened to 80 feet, the road from Kothari Bhavan to Ram Mandir will be widened to 150 feet. Deputy Commissioner K.J. Jagadeesh supervised the demolition drive.

The drive was launched a month ago by the then in-charge Regional Commissioner Harsh Gupta on four roads: Sardar Vallabhai Patel Chowk to Rashtrapathi Chowk, Rashtrapthi Chowk to Kothari Bhavan, Kothari Bhavan to Ram Mandir and Bande Bazaar Road to Humnabad Base. The demolition drive was stopped a few days before Ganesh Chaturthi as the festival season was beginning.

At the time speculation was rife that the Government had stopped the demolition drive under pressure from the trading community and that Mr. Gupta would be relieved of his charge as Regional Commissioner. This cast doubts on whether the road-widening work would be continued or not.

However, senior IAS officer Shalini Rajneesh Goel, who took charge from Mr. Gupta as Regional Commissioner, put all speculation to rest and said that the road-widening works would continue after the festival season. Later, her husband, Rajneesh Goel, who replaced her as the Regional Commissioner, reiterated his resolve to continue the road-widening work and held a series of meeting with officials of the Gulbarga City Corporation and the Gulbarga Urban Development Authority (GUDA). The demolition drive was resumed on Saturday.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Goel said that the demolition drive would continue non-stop on the four roads identified. Twenty-eight more roads would be widened in phases. “We have identified a total of 32 roads that need to be widened to ease traffic congestion,” he said.

Mr. Goel said that he proposed to talk to the office-bearers of the Hyderabad Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry and representatives of Bande Bazaar and Kirana Bazaar traders on Tuesday to persuade them to allow the demolition drive from Bande Bazaar to Humnabad base without causing problems.

‘Enough funds’

He said that the administration had enough funds to widen the roads and the grant of Rs. 100 crore released to the corporation by the State Government under the plan to develop the tier-II cities in the State would be utilised for constructing new roads and the beautification of the city.

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