Pottery Town artisans ask BMRCL to spare their properties

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Their land is needed for the Dairy Circle to Nagawara line

Around 40 families living in Pottery Town, who fear loss of their livelihood and houses, launched a campaign on Wednesday to convince the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to spare their properties from acquisition for the underground metro station and tunnelling work.

The BMRCL is building an underground metro station at Pottery Town as part of the Dairy Circle to Nagawara 13.75 km line as part of Phase II of the Namma Metro project. The area is home to families who have been dependent on the art of making traditional pottery. They say that their livelihood will be affected by the metro project. They alleged that they have been asked to vacate the premises without being served a notice and have not been assured of either compensation or rehabilitation.

G. Rajshekar, who has been working in Pottery Town for 30 years, said, “I am very upset and extremely tense when I think about what will happen next. Our houses have been marked for the metro project. There is no official communication from the BMRCL on compensation and rehabilitation.” He said that there is no clarity on how many properties will be permanently or temporarily acquired by BMRCL.

Another artisan, Jagadeshwari, expressed hope that the BMRCL would consider their request and allow them to eke out a living in Pottery Town. “We are hoping that our community leaders will take up the matter at the government level and give us justice,” he said.

BMRCL Managing Director Ajay Seth said, “The identified land is required for construction of a station and to carry out construction activities, including movement of vehicles. The land identified is of the BBMP. Some of the artisans met us and asked us to leave some of the land so that they could continue their work and practise their craft. I am open to their request and we are looking into the issue.”

A community, Know Your Indian Roots, held a campaign at Pottery Town on May 1 to express solidarity with the artisans and their families. They also carried out an online campaign with the hashtag ‘savepotterytown’.

“A part of Bengaluru’s heritage stretching four generations may come to an end. It attracted many tourists and people as this art form is already facing extinction. People come here for buy pots and diyas, and place orders for idols,” said G. Rajeshekar, a terracotta designer, and a volunteer for the campaign.

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