Monday, July 15, 2013

Metro Rail to acquire Iskcon land, Iskcon to fight back

Hyderabad elevated metro project
Deccan Chronicle HyderabadThe devotees of Lord Krishna and officials of Hyderabad Metro Rail, along with GHMC, are heading for a major showdown. The HMR authorities have issued a land acquisition notice to International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), located on Sardar Patel Road, opposite St John’s Church, in Secunderabad.
The land is required for laying of elevated structure of the Metro Rail for Corridor-III that runs from Nagole to Shilparamam via Sangeet and Iskcon. The devotees of Lord Krishna are in mood to hand over the temple land, said sources. This is   because there was a curvature on the roads and there was no other go, but to acquire the Iskcon land.
“We have received a notice for acquisition of 1,700 sq yards of Iskcon temple land. The temple is located in a total area of 3,500 sq yards. How can they touch the temple land?” asked Mahasnga Dasa of Iskcon.
Enquiries revealed that originally over 2,500 square yards of land was planned to be acquired from Iskcon. But with the issue being attached with religious sentiment, the Metro Rail engineers visited the spot and studied the curvature. They reduced the curvature to maximum extent and reduced land acquisition proposal to 1,700 sq yards.
Also because the HMR is standard gauge, the curvature angle is going up to 120-metre radius. Had it been broad gauge like the railways have now, the radius would have increased to 200-metre and then more land would have been required. The steeper the curve, the more possibility of the rail getting derailed, a HMR official said.
Members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness vowed not to part with the Iskcon land at Secunderabad.

“This is God’s land and we will not allow the Metro rail to run through it. The government bulldozers have to run over our bodies to acquire Iskcon land. Over 1,000 devotees and Iskcon board members have already taken an oath to give their lives, if needed, to protect Iskcon land,” said Mahasrnga Dasa, chairman of the Iskcon land protection committee.

Addressing a joint media conference on Friday, Iskcon,  Secunderabad president Dr Sahadeva Dasa and Mahasrnga Dasa said that a meeting has been convened on Sunday and Iskcon invites all like-minded people to join hands to stop the acquisition of ‘God’s land’”.
Mahasrnga Dasa and Dr Sahadeva Dasa said, “The authorities bulldoze only Hindu religious structures but don’t dare touch places of worship of other communities.” They demanded that the Hyderabad District Collectorate and Metro rail authorities withdraw the notification and change the rail alignment to avoid Iskcon land acquisition.

Determined to put up a fight against the government's move to acquire their land for Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) project, members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) will launch a mass contact programme across the state next week.

"We have decided to protest the proposal of taking away our land for Metro Rail project. We will launch an awareness programme across the state next week to mobilise mass support," Sahadev Das, president of Iskcon, Secunderabad, said.
The HMR authorities had issued a land acquisition notice to Iskcon located on Sardar Patel Road opposite St John's Church in Secunderabad to get 1,700 sq yards of the 3,500 sq yards belonging to the temple.

The land is required for metro corridor-III that runs from Nagole to Shilparamam via Sangeet and Iskcon. The devotees of Lord Krishna were in no n mood to hand over the temple land, said Sahdev Das.

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