Two days after Karnataka BJP MP Pratap Simha threatened to bulldoze mosque-like bus shelters from city roads, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has issued a notice to the Mysuru City Corporation and the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited (KRIDL). In its notice to the civic body and KRIDL, the NHAI has directed both the civic body and KRIDL to ensure the removal of the bus shelter constructed on the Kerala Border-Kollegala section of the National Highway-766 within a week.
“The bus stop has been constructed even though many times our Engineers have stopped the work within the national Highway Right of way,” the NHAI said in the notice. In this connection it is advised to remove the structure constructed to achieve “controversial kind of issues” which is not acceptable and accordingly one week time has been given to remove the controversial structure, it said.
The NHAI further in its notice said, “Since it (the structure) has developed communal issue as per the national Highway administration act this may be treated as notice, otherwise as per the Highway Administration Act 2003 action will be initiated,” the NHAI said. Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pratap Simha had earlier sparked a controversy by saying, “I’ve seen it on social media. The bus stand has three domes, a big one in the middle and 2 small one beside it. That’s a masjid only.”
He had also questioned how the design of the bus shelter changed overnight and claimed that Gumbaz-like structures were being constructed in most parts of Mysuru. “I’ve told engineers to demolish the structure in three-four days. If they don’t, I will take a JCB and demolish it,” he had threatened.
His statement drew flak from many including the opposition and the BJP leader was criticised for comparing the structure with a ‘mosque’.