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Allied jobs, business shrink

WAY BACK in 1956 and almost two decades hence, the walled city was home to all big and small government offices. Then onwards, slowly but surely, government offices began shifting from the old City to areas in New Bhopal, dealing a double blow of sorts to the former.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 13:57 IST

WAY BACK in 1956 and almost two decades hence, the walled city was home to all big and small government offices. Then onwards, slowly but surely, government offices began shifting from the old City to areas in New Bhopal, dealing a double blow of sorts to the former.

One, a sense of hurt among residents of old Bhopal that part of the city is being made to suffer for the growth of other. Two, it also resulted in loss of allied jobs and businesses that come with setting up of institutions in any area.

The Office of the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) is the latest to fall victim to this trend. Early this month, it was shifted from the Bisaria Kothi to Seven Number Stop. Almost a year before that, the district court was shifted from Shahjehanabad. Before that so many offices were shifted.

If some new institutions came up in the old city, feel residents of old city, the sense of loss and disappointment would not have been that much. But it was not so.

Former Municipal Commissioner Devi Saran finds shifting of offices as nothing short of shocking. If the trend continues, Old Bhopal will soon become a junk city, says he. “Even small offices are getting shifted and if the Collector’s office and Commissioner’s office are also shifted, it will be real bad for the character of the district.” Saran terms this trend absolutely unhealthy from city’s growth point of view. He feels that the

continuous flow of population to New Bhopal will affect the City in many ways. “I don’t understand who is doing this. At least, the texture of the capital should not be tampered.”

MLA Arif Aqueel, who represents the Bhopal (North) constituency, is furious. He says it would not be allowed to happen any more. “I wrote a letter to the Chief Minister on the issue and have given an adjournment motion notice in the Assembly.” Aqueel said he and former Chief Minister Babulal Gaur took the up the issue of shifting of the RTO with the Transport Commissioner.

Gas activist Abdul Jabbar says that there should be a balanced development of any City and it should not be forgotten that the real City is Old Bhopal, which gave birth to the new city. “Some offices should be kept here for the benefit of
residents of this area,” he said, sounding concerned over the talks about shifting of Collector’s office and SP office.

“The Bhopal railway station is neglected while Habibganj is getting all sorts of facilities and developmental works,” he bemoans.

First Published: Feb 27, 2006 13:57 IST