Mysore, July 14 (JP)- The recent request made by the KS-RTC to the Palace Board to either sell or lease a part of the City Bus Stand near the Brahmapuri Gate (Brahmapuri and Karikal Thotti) so that a modern bus stand solely for the benefit of passengers going to rural areas around the city can be constructed, has been rejected by the Palace Board.

The land in question is one acre and 10 guntas in area where currently buses plying to places like Belavadi, Guddige, T. Narsipura, Srirangapatna etc. are stationed.

But the Chief Secretary has said that this land will not be sold or leased to the KSRTC. Palace Board Deputy Director P.V. Avaradi said the KSRTC's proposal was first placed at a meeting chaired by former De-puty Commissioner P. Maniva-nnan and attended by MCC Commissioner K.S. Raikar, Police Commissioner Sunil Agarwal and officials from KSRTC and the Horticultural Department.

Avaradi, speaking to SOM said, "We want the KSRTC to return the one acre and 10 guntas of land to us, so that a garden can be established. The Chief Secretary is in contact with the KSRTC and the DC's office."

KSRTC Divisional Controller Srinivas admitted the KSRTC had been trying to buy or take the land on long lease. "If there is a people's movement demanding that the bus stand extension should be built, then we can go ahead. But so far, nothing is happening," he said.

Avaradi said that apart from KSRTC, there are other encroa-chers of the Palace land like the State Horticultural Department.

Avaradi claimed that the State Horticulture Department had usurped the Palace property which stretches from Balarama-Jayarama gates right up the City Bus Stand. He disclosed that the late Maharaja Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar had "permitted" the Horticulture Department to maintain a garden along the outer walls of the Palace. But instead, the Horticulture Department had set up a permanent nursery, put up sign boards proclaiming its 'ownership.'

They have even constructed a permanent building that houses the Horticultural Workers' Co-operative Society and a fruit and fruit juice stall.

"The Palace Board has certainly not given them permission at all. We have sent several letters and reminders to the Horticulture Department about this matter," he said.

"Let them prove if they have any records or documents to show that this land belongs to them," challenged Avaradi, saying, "At a meeting with the DC, the MCC Commissioner and the Horticulture Department officials were asked if they had any records permitting them to put up permanent buildings on Palace property. They did not have any records at all."

Hawkers, kiosks too are encroaches

Avaradi also said that the area by the side of the parking lot near the Varaha Gate has also been encroached upon by vendors who have put up stalls. Avaradi claimed that the hawkers and kiosks selling knick-knacks and eatables next to the parking lot near Varaha gate had become an eyesore. "There is no place for visitors to walk peacefully," he said. "The DC should take action and clear the place of these hawkers and stalls."

Another Palace Board official told SOM that the hawkers had formed an Association and even given a representation to the Palace Board that they be allowed to set up semi-permanent stalls. They had said in their representation that every stall owner would pay a licence fee and had made several representations to the Board. He alleged that these vendors had formed Associations and were attempting to get the Palace Board to agree to license fee.

"I have refused their requests. But pressure is being brought on us. I have also informed the new DC about this and hope he will take action to clear these encroachers," said Avaradi adding, "I have also kept the Chief Secretary informed about these developments as he is the head of the Palace Board."

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore