Tannery Road businesses strike out at TDR

Residents in Tannery Road are hoping for the same in their area. They have taken their grievances to the authorities.

Taking the fight to the law-makers

President of the Owners/ Merchants Association and Karnataka Rakshana Vedike secretary Vijay Raj Jain told Citizen Matters that following the demolitions of December 3rd, an emergency meeting was called with Venkatarama Nayak, Additional Commissioner BBMP (East), in the presence of Ashok Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police.

A public meeting of residents, shop owners and law makers was also held in the week that followed. The meeting was presided by Nayak, Kumar, and Deputy Commissioner of Police Chander Shekar.

Jain says they hope to meet BBMP Commissioner soon to resolve the matter. He claims that they have been assured that no private properties will be touched without the consent of the owners.

Vegetable vendor outside partially demolished Corporation building that once housed small shops. Pic: Karunya Keshav.

When asked by Citizen Matters what BBMP was planning to do about the issue, Nayak says, “BBMP is for road-widening. The work will not stop.”

He admits that demolition would only go on after consultations with shop owners, and that he is willing to facilitate discussion between the parties involved. “If need be, I will convince them,” says Nayak.

In the meantime, the Association has got individual residents and owners to agree to file notices against BDA and BBMP. A complaint has also been lodged with the Lok Ayukta over harassment by BBMP officials.  The complaint is against BBMP officials who supervised the demolition and came into the stores and houses to mark the ones to be demolished.

Beyond compensation

However, the protest seems limited to traders in private properties. It is business as usual in the recently demolished and partially rebuilt Corporation property at the beginning of the road.

Some of the tenants in the complex have lost as much as 20 feet of their stores, leaving them to do business in cramped areas 6 feet wide. Their shop displays extend beyond the store shutters, and tables from the restaurant are on the road now, but the tenants seem resigned to the changes.

Nawab Jang, a tea stall owner on  Tannery Road says, “It is good for the general public. Business is affected, but what can we do? This is for everyone’s good.” Jung is looking forward to BBMP’s offer to give all affected owners space to extend their stores behind the present structure.

For others, it is not just a matter of compensation. Shop owners and residents are also asking for adequate time and notice to move out.

“This is exam season. The children will be affected. When we go out with the children, they see the demolitions and they ask us, ‘What is happening? Will this happen to us too? Where did our shop go?’” says Ganesh Rao, vice president of the Association.

Property owners across the city are keeping an eye on the developments at Tannery Road.  Rao summarises the sentiment in many areas facing road-widening when he says, “People have been here for years. Where will they go?”

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1 Comment

  1. Reasoning by Tenants appear to be flawed. Even under Land Acquisition Act, there is no proviso to compensate a Tenant! As such to demand 25% compensation is like demanding legitimizing of pagdi system! It should be treated with contempt it deserves.

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