109-Year-Old Govt School to be Demolished for NH 169 Mangalore-Moodbidri Road Widening

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109-Year-Old Govt School to be Demolished for NH 169 Mangalore-Moodbidri Road Widening

Mangaluru: While there have been massive protests from tree activists/environmentalists against the felling of decades-old trees lining the NH 169 highway, and also in the meantime, many landowners had to give away pieces of their property for NHAI authorities for the widening, also few have lost their ancestral or other homes, one of them being the heritage and traditional house and property belonging to the MENDONCA BROTHERS of Vamanjoor, and now a 109-year-old Government Higher Primary School, Kudupu, which has imparted education to tens of students, will become a memory. Situated next to the NH-169, the school will now be demolished in the nearest future for highway road widening work.

Sources reveal that the school started in 1914, was one of the most sought-after educational institutions in the vicinity. Situated next to the national highway, the school was easily accessible to many. It had children coming from nearby villages. According to records from the department of public instruction, at one point the school imparting education from class one to class seven had about 250 students, which was reduced to 26 in the last academic year.

As per HR Eshwara, BEO of South, the century-old Kudupu School is located on 72 cents of land adjacent to the national highway. “The National Highways Authority of India had informed us about the school being acquired for highway widening work, and we shifted all children to nearby schools starting this academic year” added Eshwara. However, with students not opting for Govt schools and looking for English medium schools, this school in July 2022 had about 26 children. Later they were shifted to schools in Thiruvalla, Mangalajyothi, Pedamale and Bikarnakatte. There were three permanent teachers. Among them, two teachers have been temporarily deputed to the Thiruvail school and another to the school in Oddor.

The highway widening project will acquire about 69 cents of land out of 72 cents. NHAI will give about Rs 1.2 crore as compensation to the department of public instruction. Sources from the department said that the locals had demanded that a new school building come up on the remaining three cents of land. However, it is not feasible, and land is insufficient. The jurisdictional MLA and other officials concerned have identified a place near Kudupu Anantha Padmanabha Temple in Kudupu. The newly identified place is a few metres away from the current school. Sources also added that the school building was also dilapidated since no funds were allocated in the recent past as it was notified for demolition. The land adjacent to the school was already acquired, and buildings were demolished for highway widening work.

Also last year, the road widening on the Mangalore-Moodbidri National Highway 169 which passes through the historic narrow road, century-old trees, decades-old ancestral houses and bustling marketplaces of the Coastal City erased an important part of Mangaluru’s cultural heritage. The multi-crore road widening project not only cleared the old picture-perfect landscape and structures but also displaced families forcing them into lifeless neighbourhoods. And among such homes/properties on this stretch of the NH 169 road-widening project was the ancestral home of the Mendonca Brothers, who agreed after having got the compensation with a deal with NHAI.

And just because these buildings are not notified as heritage sites do not mean they are not heritage. It’s a delicate balance between catering to the ever-increasing traffic and conserving our heritage. The sooner we realise this the better, or else we will end up losing these jewels — just like we’ve lost the MENDONCA BUNGALOW, and soon many other ancient homes and schools.


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  1. Stop national highways passing through Mangalore City. Let them construct the highways outside the city. Where in the constitution is it mentioned that highways should be constructed inside the cities?
    Start the fight 💪

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