24 Acre Land, with Nehru Maidan Vested in MCC by Catholic Coelho family for Recreation Use ONLY is being MISUSED
SAVE THE NEHRU MAIDAN! 24 Acre and 18 cents Land including Nehru Maidan Vested in the Mangaluru City Corporation by an Altruistic Mangalorean Konkani Catholic family by (Ms Rozina Sabina Coelho – later Britto) for Sports/Recreation Use ONLY is Misused for various other PURPOSES and the descendants/Family members object to this as the conditions under which it was vested have been violated and the land is subject to RESUMPTION?
Mangaluru: In the past many Mangalorean Konkani Catholic families have donated their property towards good cause, including land for ashrams, old-age homes, educational institutions etc. Here is one example where a whopping 24 acres and 18 cents, belonging to an altruistic Mangalorean Konkani Catholic family, in the year 1907, was vested in the Mangalore Municipal Corporation with the condition that the Nehru Maidan should ONLY be used for SPORTS and RECREATION purpose for the children and the general public of Mangaluru and not for any other events, which is being totally misused presently
The tale of the Nehru Maidan, starts when Ms Rozina Sabina Coelho,( after marriage Britto), a Mangalorean handed over 24 acres 18 cents in 1907 to the Municipal Council of Mangalore through the Madras Government under the condition that the land should not be used for any other purpose but for RECREATION/SPORTS EVENTS of the children and general public/citizens of Mangaluru. And the agreement also mentioned that no buildings or any other structures should be constructed on the land and if these conditions are violated, then the land is liable to be taken back.
But this land which stretches from the State Bank/Fish Market/Bus Stand till the Town Hall/Mahatma Gandhi Park, has been misused and the City Municipality/Admin has violated the Land Agreement, and where MESCOM Station, Park, Fish Market, Bus Stand, Sualabh Souchalya (Toilet) and a Bank sponsored Park, among other structures, have come up what is left is just half of the original land. Coming to know all these developments and violations of the conditions her descendants have decided to take action.
But now during its 112 in Existence, for homeless/beggars the land has been a safe abode, for athletes/joggers/cricketers it shapes their future, and for many it is just another venue. But for mandarins it is a hot property. The perceptions may differ, but the 112-year-long struggle for existence of the NEHRU MAIDAN might just leave Jawaharlal NEHRU fumed and unhappy. But if you look at Nehru Maidan and its surroundings, it is an ownership fight as the Mangaluru City Corporation flaunts the Maidan as its own property, even though it was only VESTED, and not DONATED nor SOLD? With sports and recreation purposes taking a back seat and the Maidan becoming nothing more than a venue for various programmes, from political, religious, exhibitions, dog shows, and Sambrama events, and what not, Nehru Maidan has become a final example of how the LAW is altered according to whims and fancies of some vested interests.
The Nehru Maidan comes under the Karnataka Parks Play Fields and Open Spaces (Preservation and Regulations) Act of 1985, which prohibits any kind of development/infrastructure on the vested land by Ms Coelho. But sadly, over the 112 of existence, over 7-8 illegal constructions have come up which points at the political power play, power of money, corruption and influential tactics. If you look back at the history ever since the 24 acres and 18 cents was vested to the City Municipal council by Ms Coelho-
– In 1938 : Municipal Council mooted an application for construction of Town Hall
– 1951: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru addressed Mangalorean’s in a pavilion at Central Maidan, then onwards it is known as Nehru Maidan.
– 1952 : Ashoka Pillar was installed. The Government of Karnataka immediately ordered demolition of the pillar. On an apology by the Council, the government retained the structure on the condition that two National festivals should be celebrated mandatorily.
– 1957-58 : Two Ranji Cricket Trophies were played.
– 1968 : Town Hall was built on 1.47 acres.
– 1985 : Karnataka government enforced Karnataka Parks, Play fields and Open Spaces Act and asked for the survey and records of all the parks, open spaces, Maidan’s, and play fields in the region. There were six play grounds including Nehru Maidan, 13 parks and 49 play fields.
– 1989-97: Maidan Land was allotted to the MESCOM station, Park and
-1997 : MCC resolved to utilize the land for temporary bus stand, which soon became a reality.
2003 : MUDA notification under Mangalore 2021 Master Plan speaks of Nehru Maidan to be utilized for commercial transport and communication purposes.
Apart from the above many other developments in that area have taken place, which totally violated the land agreement. While the administration blatantly, yet discreetly, violates the rules, awakened citizens of Mangaluru should come forward to “SAVE NEHRU MAIDAN”. But few days ago, sources revealed that the police department is seriously considering the desirability of permanently banning any public programmes like protests, conventions and meetings at the Nehru Maidan. With a view to maintain law and order, and also traffic chaos and hardship to commuters during mega events at the Maidan, the police department is contemplating such a step in consultation with the district administration, sources stated.
It should also be noted that during a felicitation/Sambhrama event last year on Nehru Maidan, vehicular traffic was thrown out of gear, and case was registered against the organizers. Sources say that so far only preliminary discussions have been held by the police department with the district administration about the desirability of barring use of the Maidan for all kinds of public programmes.. Will it be a reality, we will have to wait with our fingers crossed, and ONLY believe it when the order is passed to ban all other events, except Sports on Nehru Maidan.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, a senior member of the Ms Coelho ( Britto) family said, “We simply can’t believe that the City Municipality/MCC violated the norms as mentioned in the land agreement, and went on constructing these illegal structures. Our great grandparents had vested the land with the altruist gesture of providing for the citizens of Mangaluru a beautiful place for the citizens of Mangaluru for recreation /sports purposes, but it seems like the Nehru Maidan is used for all kinds of events, which our family don’t appreciate at all. We have also heard that negotiations were going on to rezone the Maidan for commercial purposes to construct super malls. which we opposed as per law”
She further said, “And now we see that the Park which was a beautiful place to relax for families and senior citizens has been dug to make way for a underpass, which will connect the road from Mangalore Central Railway station to Lady Goshen Hospital. While the administration blatantly, yet discreetly violating the rule, Awakened Citizens of Mangaluru should come forward to SAVE NEHRU MAIDAN …THE VERY HEART THROB OF MANGALURU !”