Indore Metro Rail Project hit a stumbling block on Wednesday as a large number of shopkeepers of Kothari Market, Khatipura and MG Road staged demonstration against train’s proposed route between Gandhi Hall and Sanjay Setu.
The shopkeepers of city’s leading commercial areas kept their shops closed to protest against proposed Metro route passing through their areas. They raised questioned over the survey done for the project.
“We don’t need Metro Rail, which will uproot our shops, businesses and jobs. Project will be of no use if it snatches away bread from thousands of people,” areas traders Manish Nigam, Narayan Arora, Vijay Grover said. They alleged that officials who carried out survey for Metro rail route didn’t inform them about the plan and only took their signature after asking few questions.
“They plan to demolish shops located between Gandhi Hall and Khatipura, which will ruin our businesses. The new alternative given to us will take many years to develop,” they added.
The shopkeepers also visited divisional commissioner’s office to express protest against the proposed route and demanded to review the plan and make changes in it.
The traders also questioned the rationale behind construction of three Metro stations between Rajwada and Bada Ganpati, which will also be developed after demolishing business establishments there.
Metro rail’s total length is 31.55 km, which will have 29 stations. The proposed project will have 23 elevated stations and six underground stations. They will be developed between railway station and Rajwada.
’Will have to pay price for city’s development’
Commenting on the protest by the shopkeepers of Kothari Market against construction of Metro rail line, state higher education minister Jitu Patwari said residents will have to think about how Indore will take shape after 50 years in terms of traffic and population. “We will have to pay some price for it,” he remarked.
He also added that there must be confusion among shopkeepers over underground Metro rail line from Kothari Market. “I want to ensure shopkeepers that no action will be taken without informing and talking to them,” he added.
MP Lalwani comes out in support of shopkeepers
Member of Parliament from Indore Lok Sabha constituency, Shankar Lalwani, on Thursday came out in support of shopkeepers who were opposing the construction of underground metro rail station between Gandhi Hall and Bada Ganapati, arguing that it would ruin their business.
Lalwani discussed the issue with the metro rail officers and urged them to find an amicable solution. He also said that the planning team should again discuss the road plan on the disputed stretch so that the shopkeepers are not inconvenienced in any way.
It is reported that according to the plan, a metro station will be constructed at Kothari Market due to which some buildings in the area will have to be demolished, and all the shopkeepers would have to vacate their shops.
Asheesh Singh, commissioner, Indore Municipal Corporation said that the metro rail company needs the entire site along the Kothari Market for at least two and a half years. After the construction of the metro is completed the IMC will again construct a complex there and allot shops to the shopkeepers. Till the construction is completed the shopkeepers will be provided a better place for their trade. He said the market is owned by the corporation and it is clear in the agreement that the corporation can revoke the agreement whenever it wants.