Fight over Cantonment metro station

Residents and commuters oppose plan to build it under a playground

August 09, 2017 10:03 pm | Updated 10:03 pm IST

The playground near Cantonment station under which Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) plans to build a station.

The playground near Cantonment station under which Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) plans to build a station.

The decision to shift the location of Cantonment metro station to a playground from land adjoining Cantonment Railway Station is likely to be met with stiff opposition.

In July, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) put up a map of the alignment for the underground section of Reach 6 between Dairy Circle and Nagavara, which is part of Phase II. The biggest surprise was the location of the metro station at Cantonment, which was expected to be integrated with the railway station. Instead, it was shifted to a nearby playground.

BMRCL claimed that acquiring the playground temporarily from the BBMP would be easier than acquiring railway land. However, South Western Railways issued a statement that it has no problem allotting land for the metro station.

Commuters point out that the playground is used by children of a nearby school. A section of residents in the neighbourhood are up in arms against the loss of the playground while BMRCL constructs the underground infrastructure. BMRCL is expected to restore the playground after building a station underground, but students will be left without an open space for a few years.

Besides, the location would be inconvenient for people planning to switch between the railways and Namma Metro, say commuters.

Several activists are gearing up to oppose the new location. A Facebook page has been created and signatures are being collected to put pressure on the government to stick to the original plan. Memorandums have been submitted to BMRCL and will also be handed over to Members of Parliament from the city as well as the State government, activists say.

“While world over, organisations are opting for integration, here we are doing the opposite,” said Rajkumar Dugar, a resident of Vasanthnagar who recently submitted a memorandum to BMRCL asking for the decision to be reversed.

Sampath Kumar, councillor, Vasanthnagar, says, “I have raised this issue in the BBMP council. I want to understand how a playground can be allotted for such projects when there are strict rules against such a move.”

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