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Shrines on public spaces to go

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Urban DevelopmentGovernance

In a courageous move, the Karnataka government has decided to crack down on unauthorized religious shrines, including temples, churches, mosques and gurdwaras, which encroach upon roads, parks, storm water drains and other public places. Chief secretary S V Ranganath ordered all deputy commissioners, heads of local administrations and zilla panchayat CEOs to demolish unauthorized religious structures constructed before December 2009 on public places. He’s set a December 31 deadline.  

Following the Supreme Court directive in December 2009, the chief secretary formulated a regulatory framework for dealing with unauthorized constructions of religious structures which have come up before December 2009. With respect to unauthorized structures which have come up in public parks and other public places, DCs will review these cases. If the DCs feel the structure does not spoil the peace and tranquillity of the area, it may be regularized, subject to compliance with the K a r n at a k a Town and Country Planning Act, Mun i c i p a l i t i e s Act, Corporation Act and other similar laws. The DCs and heads of local administration will be held responsible and disciplinary action taken against them if any religious structure has come up after December 2009. Further, DCs have to send a quarterly report to the additional chief secretary (home) on the progress made.

A district-level committee — headed by the DC and involving commissioner of mahanagara palikas, heads of local administration, SP, PWD executive engineer, ZP executive engineer, commissioner of the urban development authority and additional DC — will review progress every month before submitting the report to the government.

Ranganath warned urban and rural local bodies to earmark suitable places in new layout plans for construction of temples, churches, mosques and gurdwaras.

For the full report in the TOI, click here.

Finally, let's hope it's happening. But, the so termed 'courageous move' actually required the Supreme Court to lend courage to it. And, the courts having to intervene in plain governance issues repeatedly is not quite the most satisfactory state of affairs.

Muralidhar Rao


rs's picture

I'll believe it when I see

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I'll believe it when I see it. In fact, only this morning I noticed a new shrine of sorts coming up on old airport road between ORR and HAL airport, completely blocking what might have been the footpath.

Naveen's picture

Shrine on old airport rd

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I saw the old airport rd shrine coming up too, blocking the sidewalk.

These "announcements" are only just that - mere words. Action on the ground needs mindsets to change, which can be very hard.

murali772's picture

SC rap for states

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Report in the New Indian Express dt 15th Sept:

The Supreme court on Tuesday warned that chief secretaries will have to personally appear before it if the states fail to comply with its directions to remove or relocate unauthorised places of worship in public places.

Surprising how casual the states are even with the highest court in the land passing such strictures, and repeatedly too. Parhaps, only when the court actually sends a few bureaucrats to the jail will the governments wake up, I guess.

Muralidhar Rao
shas3n's picture

Some action

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Seems like at least Shimoga's DC Ponnuraj is acting on this. Here is the link. 


Rithesh's picture

Some more action

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I saw demolition work a couple of weeks back in Chikballapur too. Seems like more demolitions  will follows.

srinidhi's picture

road widening in blr affected too..

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The have/are cutting all trees from Sirsi circle onwards on Mysore road for widening..huge trees they less than a temple themselves..

However the bottlenecks are an established temple near the satellite bus stand(Hosa Guddadahalli)..temple occupies about 200 sqft..with gopuram and everything..I am waiting to see whats gonna happen there 

Btw another new temple on the side road there..built on footpath is now planning a grand gopuram..and collecting funds for it was actually built in the memory of a simian which died by electrocution around there.. 

murali772's picture

Demolish and report back - HC

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A division bench of the high court headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar has directed the BBMP to demolish the unauthorized structure housing Shanishwara-Muneshwara temple at Agrahara Dasarahalli, Magadi Road. “Once it is conceded that it is on public land, that is the end of the matter. Religion cannot be illegal. We are going to demolish anything which is illegal. The SC has already given clear directions in this regard,” the court said. “The BBMP should demolish the unathorized construction having an asbestos roof within a week by making appropriate arrangements to prevent any untoward incidents. The Palike should file an affidavit in two weeks regarding compliance,” the court added. Vijayalakshmi had filed a PIL alleging that despite several representations, no action was taken to remove the unauthorized structure.

For the full report in the ToI, click here

Perhaps, RWAs could list out similar cases in their respective wards, and submit them to the court to issue similar orders.

Muralidhar Rao
dvsquare's picture

@Murali Sir, Below one from

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@Murali Sir,

Below one from Koramangala area. This one covering footpath as well as the road also.


dvsquare's picture

To add

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Also see the white markings on the road also respected the temple boundaries, what is this?


murali772's picture

APAD for shrines - admin?

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clearer pictures of the same shrine (rather business) are available here. May be we need to start a APAD for roadside/ illegal temples/ shrines too.

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture


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It seems that Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will ‘legalise’ unauthorised temples, churches and mosques constructed on footpaths across the city.


I dont know who is responsible for the commons in this city? It is shameful that BBMP has given up that right, with this they should give up the right to be the administrators for this city as well. Get police protection & demolish I say, how can BBMP allow even a stone to be laid in the public commons without their knowledge? We need to file  criminal case against BBMP and put them behind bars for allowing this to happen & then legalizing this.

idontspam's picture

Clearly Illegal

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According to the statistics available with the BBMP, there are 174 such places of worship constructed illegally on the footpaths of Bangalore. This includes 169 temples, four churches and one mosque. However, sources from the BBMP said that the figures are actually more than this, in all the eight zones. source

This means in the name of religion I can do illegal things & nothing can be done about it. Even if it means going against court order? Shameful & definitely contempt of court so who goes to Jail now?

dvsquare's picture

BBMP let illegal happen first, and then cut the trees later

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Whoever is the culprit, whoever does the illegal activity, its the trees who has to give away their life. BBMP did let it happen, many illegal shrines are there in the city, encroaching footpaths, public spaces, roads etc, and now BBMP making them legal, what a shame on BBMP.

And when we talk about footpaths, road congestion, its the trees who have to get away from their lives for better roads, better footpaths etc.

In books, we worship tree as well, we address them as our GODs, but in reality we just want to protest those illegal shrines. Its totally unfair, biased and unethical, and I think BBMP is consistent on all these.

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