Red Bldg Road Widening- A War between Corporator and Residents

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Red Bldg Road Widening – A War between Corporator and Residents

Mangaluru: Once a most liked person by almost all the residents of Red Building locality-near Capitanio School-Nagori who voted her to be their corporator, is now a not-much liked person by a few residents- all because of a simple Road widening issue- and the Mangaluru City Corporation corporator of that ward says that she is innocent, has done nothing wrong- and all the allegations made against her are baseless, and few persons based on political motivation and personal grudge on her are creating all these controversies. So to get a correct picture as to whether road widening is NEEDED or NOT at the Red Building locality, Team Mangaloraen spoke to a few residents of that area, and also got the clarification from the corporator of MCC Kankanady-Valencia Ward- Asha Gretta D’silva, who also lives in that locality- Here is the story-read more:

Before going into further details, this is how the present controversies started- According to a few residents who spoke to Team, Mangalorean said, that in 2014 they had given a petition to provide drainage facility at Red Building Lane. The residents were notified that the proposal was approved at a council meeting and standing committee meeting in 2016. Unfortunately, when a resident of that area was planning to build a house and had applied for a license for his new house, his licence was denied by MCC stating that the road would be widened there to 9 meters.

In order to get more information on this road widening proposal, a few residents through Right To Information (RTI) demanded clarification on this issue on 10 October 2016- and they did get a reply on 29 November 2016, stating that the residents themselves had demanded road widening in 2014 through a petition. But through proper verification, it was found that the submitted signed petition by the residents meant for drainage was altered and turned around into a petition demanding road widening. This morning Team Mangalorean met some of the residents of Red Building Lane and got their versions on this issue:

Vishwanath K, a resident of that area and also the president of Red Building Nagarika Kshema Abhivardha Sangha speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ” We the residents want to know why is it necessary to widening this lane because there are no schools, no hospital, no commercial establishments, etc, only residential houses. The present width of the road is more than enough for vehicles to ply easily without any difficulties. When the MCC Mayor and other city officials had visited our area, they assured us of providing justice to all the residents here but until now we have not seen any progress. For some reason, if the road widening is approved, many residents will lose part of their property since most of them are very adjacent to the street. The corporator’s assurance of providing compensation as Transferable Development Rights (TDR) is very much possible. Under no circumstance, we the residents here will allow the road widening to carry on”.

Nirmala Pais Isaac, yet another resident of the area said, ” Road widening is not at all required in this area. There is also provision- vehicles entering from one side can go all the way and come out from the other side. What is the need for road widening? This is nothing but to benefit a couple of the builders who are planning to construct apartments in that area. At present, the street is about 18-20 feet wide, but at some places, it may be a little less- but vehicles can easily pass without any problems. In that case, what’s the need for widening the road just for the sake of the builders, which could result in residents losing their property. I strongly oppose the move put forward by our corporator, and I hope that she would withdraw the plan for the sake of the residents who trusted her and made her our corporator”.

Another resident, Antony Maxim D’souza said, ” Road widening is absolutely not required, and we will not allow it to materialize. This is a residential area, and there are no commercial nor any educational establishments, so why even bother to widen the road and put the residents into hardship, and also make lose their land. Frankly speaking, this is a game played by our corporator with political support to benefit two builders who are planning to construct apartments at the end of the street. Earlier our ward corporator Asha D’silva had taken signatures from the local residents on a white paper stating that it was for the development of drainage line, but unfortunately, our signatures were misused for a wrong purpose of road widening. We have the proof of the letter. We all believed in the words of our corporator, but now she has let us down and going her own way. Our fight will continue no matter what until this road widening plan is dropped, and until justice is served to all of us”

Ullas Rasquinha, another local resident said, ” Even though this issue won’t affect my property, but on the interest of all other residents I feel that road widening is not necessary, because all these years with the present width of the road, no one had trouble or felt in inconveniences in traveling on this stretch of the lane. I can very much say that corporator Asha D’silva is a good lady and good corporator, but I feel that due to some pressure from various sources might have made her to make all those decisions. She should first listen to the grievances of the residents who elected into power, and kindly do the needful that benefits the residents and not harm them”

Senior citizen Patrick Albuquerque, a local resident expressing his thoughts said, ” I have been a resident of this locality for decades, and never faced any traffic problem. I am an auto-rickshaw driver, and like me, there are many auto-rickshaw owners in this area, and none of us has faced any traffic inconveniences. There is absolutely no need of road widening. The residents have never asked and will never demand any road widening- this road widening plan is just to support the couple of builder’s activities which has prompted our corporator to step ahead in the road-widening plan. She should withdraw her decision in the interest of the residents who supported her in the MCC corporator election. We trusted her on her assurances, and therefore she has to keep her promise and remain on good terms with her Ward residents”.

Now it was corporator of MCC Kankanady-Valencia ward Asha D’silva’s turn to clarify her stance on this road widening plan- speaking exclusively to Team Mangalorean she said, ” This is nothing but a few persons grudges on me, thereby creating uneasiness in the area. All the allegations made by these local residents on me are baseless. I am surprised to note that where did these people get the news of road widening when I have no such plans chalked out. But according to the rules, anyone in future wants to construct a building or a house they should leave enough space for the road. If they don’t go by the rule, MCC won’t issue any construction licence. This rule won’t affect those houses or buildings that already existed.”

“As promised earlier I have already got Rs 12 lakhs sanctioned towards the drainage development project, and the work has started and will be completed as long as sufficient funds are available. At present, there is no such plan of road widening as per the allegations made on me by some of these residents. Rumours are spreading around that it was my idea to widen the road since my husband owns a plot in this area and that we are planning to construct an apartment complex, for which a 30 ft road is a must as per MCC rule- these rumours are far from the truth. Presently my husband is constructing a two-floor residential house in this lane, and no road widening is needed. So why are these people unnecessary putting false allegations on me” added D’silva.

She further said, ” In future, when the city grows even our area may need growth and development- and during that time road widening may be needed, which may result in many residents losing full or partial portions of their property. That is common everywhere, when land is needed for city’s infrastructure development, residents have to abide by the rule. As an early advise I request the residents to leave 20 feet space for the road before starting any house or building constructions. But at present, I don’t have any plans for road widening, and all these protests and allegations are simply mind boggling”

“During my tenure as a corporator I have never played any tricks, nor involved in any corruption or played politics or carried out any project for my own benefit. Due to a few hate mongers, all these allegations against me are purely based on political motivation and personal grudge. I have noticed that a few residents have already grabbed the road area and used it for constructing of their compound- and no one is saying anything about it. And these are the people behind all these allegations. They are spreading false stories and also creating fear among the good residents who have always supported me and I have a feeling that they still support me. To these good residents I say please don’t follow in the footsteps of those who are trying to break peace in the neighbourhood- let us solve this issue in good terms and per MCC laws. Thank You” said corporator Asha D’silva.

As per the latest news received by Team Mangalorean at around 2 pm, a team deputed by the Mayor and MCC to take survey of the Red Building lane was stopped by the residents by not allowing them to carry on with their survey, and they have surrounded these survey people until higher authorities come and give proper explanation as to how these people were sent without giving any notice to the local residents. Further details will be updated later.

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Road widening at Nagori Red Building lane, residents stage Protest

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