Not a Smart Way to Raze Two Iconic Landmarks -‘Hamilton Circle’ aka State Bank Circle & ‘Rao & Rao’ Circle for Smart Circular One Way project
Mangaluru: It should be noted that Hamilton Circle near State Bank Main Branch in the City symbolized the ‘Twining Pact’ between Mangaluru and Hamilton City in Canada. Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) as part of junction improvement work under Mangaluru Smart City Projects, had demolished two iconic landmarks in the City, namely the HAMILTON CIRCLE and RAO & RAO CIRCLE, near the Deputy Commissioner’s Office and Central Fish Market respectively.
Commuters who used to pass by these two landmarks are shocked to see both the Circles demolished recently in order to make way for the Circular One Way project. Hamilton Circle, popularly known as ‘State Bank Circle’ was no ordinary Circle but Mangaluru’s iconic landmark symbolizing the ‘Twinning Pact’ between Mangaluru City and Hamilton City- also a Port City in Canada.
In 1968, Hamilton, the ninth biggest city in Canada, bowing down to the request of its residents, had signed a twinning pact with Mangaluru. The then Hamilton Mayor Vic Copps had signed the agreement (according to Wikipedia, Hamilton has eight such sister cities, including Mangaluru). This part of history was revived when the former Director of AIMIT (part of St Aloysius College) in Beeri Fr Denzil Lobo SJ ( now in Bengaluru) visited Hamilton ten years ago.
HAMILTON CIRCLE BEFORE…
Speaking to Team Mangalorean over the phone Fr Denzil said, “Hamilton City, which is also a port city like Mangaluru is en route to Niagara Falls. On my return to Mangaluru from Canada, I found an article published tracing the twinning pact between Mangaluru and Hamilton. The Hamilton Circle symbolically endorsed that Mangaluru is a ‘Sister City’ with Hamilton in Canada (residents are known as Hamiltonians). State Bank of India which opened Mangaluru’s main branch near the Hamilton Circle in Mangaluru in 1955, was involved in the beautification of the Circle. Thus, the Circle also came to be known, more popularly among commoners, as State Bank Circle. With the razing of the Circle recently, the MCC’s vast list of historical ignorance continues to expand”.
HAMILTON CIRCLE NOW…
Fr Lobo further said, “The objective behind the twinning pact is to promote cultural and commercial ties between the two cities that share many common features. After Bengaluru, Mangaluru is the only city in the state to have more than two twinning agreements with cities. Mangaluru is a ‘Sister City’ with Hamilton (since 1968), one among nine districts in Mauritius (since 1998) and Delta-British Columbia (since 2010)”.
RAO & RAO CIRCLE :
P Shivanand Rao, the Managing Partner of Rao & Rao Automobile Dealers speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “Rao & Rao Automobile Dealers was established in 1925 by my grandfather P Harishchandra Rao, and after his death in 1959, the business was carried forward by his son P Kamalaksha Rao (my dad) and we were the Automobile pioneers to deal in General motors vehicles like Austin and Chevrolet Vanguard etc. Later we were dealers for Standard motors and Massey Ferguson Tractors. Also, Maruthi Authorized service station and Tata motors Authorized service station”.
RAO & RAO CIRCLE NOW……
“The Circle right in front of our firm was donated in the year 1996 to Mangalore City Corporation when Mrs Eunis Britto was the Mayor and Sri Ramakrishna, the MCC Commissioner. We have joined with MCC in many community projects as sponsors. Even before the donation was made the name Rao & Rao circle existed. But it is sad to see that a landmark bearing our name is razed to make way for Circular One Way”, added Shivanand.
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