The government is closing three-fourths of a 350-year-old temple tank as an alleged favour to private land developer in Vasanthapura, Bengaluru.
As per reports, the tank was built in the 17th century by Maratha King Shivaji's father Shahaji Raje Bhonsle. The temple dates back to the days of Chola rule (4th to 12th century), and was built in a clearing in the midst of a lush forest.
According to reports, a developer in question, N Balakrishna Naidu, is going all out to get a broad approach road to his land, and the bureaucracy reportedly is on his side. A good road adds immensely to the real estate value of his land.
Work is afoot to close almost three-fourths of the tank to build a road about 50 feet wide. Naidu ostensibly offered a part of his land to the temple, and the muzrai authorities, in a letter to the revenue authorities, cited this act of 'generosity' to justify building a road over the tank.
Officials have recently altered the survey of the kalyani (Kannada for 'stepped temple tank'), shrinking its extent. However, Muzrai Department officials, under whom the temple falls, claimed they were not aware of what was happening at the tank.
In 2013, the muzrai department dropped its plans to cover up the tank following efforts by citizen activists.