Mysuru Bus Shelter Controversy: NHAI Orders To Clear All Encroachments On NH 766 Including Gumbaz-shaped Bus Shelter

Swarajya Staff

Nov 18, 2022, 12:13 PM | Updated 12:28 PM IST

Mysuru Bus Stand
Mysuru Bus Stand
  • A controversy erupted over the gumbaz-themed design of bus shelter after Mysuru member of parliament and senior BJP leader Pratap Simha raised the issue during a book release function in the city on Sunday (Nov 13).
  • NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) has issued a notice to the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) to clear all encroachments on Mysuru-Nanjangud (NH 766) Highway including a bus shelter that has kicked up a storm due to a mosque like design, The Star Of Mysore reported.

    The NHAI, in its notice, said that it has come to its attention that there are several encroachments along the NH 766. Holding KRIDL (Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited) and the MCC is responsible, the highway authority ordered the two agencies should clear all the encroachments within seven days of the notice.

    “It is advised to remove the structure constructed to achieve controversial kinds of issues which is not acceptable and accordingly one week time has been given to remove the controversial structure,” NHAI notice said.

    “Since it has developed communal issues as per the National Highway Administration Act 2003, this may be treated as notice otherwise action will be initiated as per the Act. Also, the MCC should send a report to the NHAI Project Director within three days. The MCC and the KRIDL will be penalised if they fail to comply with the directions issued,” the notice added.

    A controversy erupted over the design of bus shelter after Mysuru member of parliament and senior BJP leader Pratap Simha raised the issue during a book release function in the city on Sunday (Nov 13).

    Simha on Sunday had said that bus stops in the city with domes on top of them should be taken down.

    Referring to the newly constructed bus shelter in the Mysuru-Nanjanagudu road, Simha said “I have seen images on social media of a bus stand on which there were gumbaz (domes). At the centre, there was a big gumbaz and besides that, there were 2 smaller gumbaz; it is a masjid. I have asked KRILD engineers to remove it within 3-4 days, or else I have told them that I will bulldoze it with a JCB,”

    After the video of Simha's speech went viral, the local authorities swung in to action and repainted the domes with red instead of the earlier golden hue. The shelter now sports the photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Suttur Seers Adijagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara Shivayogi Mahaswamiji  and Dr. Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Swamiji and Krishnaraja Constituency MLA S.A. Ramdas.

    Local BJP MLA Disputes Simha's Contention

    The bus shelter controversy has deepened the fissures with local unit of BJP with S.A. Ramdas, a party legislator from Krishna Raja constituency questioning Simha's position on bus stops with domes.

    Ramdas clarified that the idea was to build a bus stand designed like the Mysore Palace. 

    Ramdas rushed to Bengaluru to apprise CM Bommai on the developments regarding the shelter. The MLA and the CM were closeted for a few minutes but details of the discussion are not available.

    “There are many other bus stands, built with a similar design. Contrary to Pratap Simha’s allegation, the dome atop the roof of the bus stand was not installed overnight – the work was completed last week itself. The contractor Mahadev is overseeing the work that is under progress,” the MLA said.

    Get Swarajya in your inbox.