Hyderabad: Markets at Sultan Bazaar, Koti, Putli Bowli and Badi Chowdi kept their shutters down for the day on Friday, with the Sultan Bazaar Parirakshana Samithi calling for a bandh. The bandh was declared to protest against the recent remarks made by the chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy in connection with opposition to the metro rail project. Leaders from various opposition parties attended the public meeting held at Sultan Bazaar, extending their support to the traders. They are demanding that the metro rail alignment be changed as the current alignment endangered heritage buildings and 200-year-old heritage market of Sultan Bazaar.
Referring to the speech made by chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy recently where he had said that any opposition to the project would be crushed, C Shashi Bhushan, joint general secretary, Sultan Bazaar traders association said the statement was not acceptable.
The proposed metro rail corridor from Kacheguda to Falaknuma would pass through the Sultan Bazaar Market, which is a heritage market that is more than 200-years-old. It would affect the livelihoods of more than 400 traders that operate out of the market.
Traders said that the government must look at alternate options like laying an underground metro corridor wherever it crossed congested market areas such as Sultan Bazaar or change the alignment of the corridor, by allowing the line to take a U-turn from Kacheguda to Falaknuma. “If the government doesn’t pay heed to our protests, we will protest by keeping our shops open for 24 hours,” said Govind Rathi, chairman, Sultan Bazaar traders association.
The public meeting was attended by Prof. Kodandaram, chairman, Telangana Joint Action Committee, K Kavitha, founder of Telangana Jagrithi Samithi and daughter of TRS President K Chandrashekar Rao, BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya, and Dr K Laxman, national secretary of the BJP and T Srinivas Yadav of TDP.
The leaders assured traders at Sultan Bazaar of their full support in preventing the metro rail project from snatching away their livelihoods. “There were plans to implement an MMTS circle at Kacheguda and Nampally. Improved MMTS connectivity would have sufficed”,said Bandaru Dattatreya of the BJP. TOI