Two acres of land at the Belagavi Deputy Commissioner’s office will be acquired for the construction of a new six-story building that will house all major government offices under one roof. However, has anyone considered the need for an exclusive protest zone within this premises?
Protests, agitations, and rallies are fundamental rights in a democracy, but they should not come at the expense of others. One direct consequence is the disruption of mobility caused by traffic jams.
Many cities have already planned for exclusive protest zones, following the example of Bengaluru’s Freedom Park, where designated areas are set aside for demonstrations.
In Belagavi, most protests are held at Rani Chennamma Circle, which not only blocks traffic at the circle itself but also causes traffic jams in surrounding areas such as Rail Nagar, Club Road, and Camp.
Given that the Circle connects to several roads, including state and national highways, it is crucial to keep it free from protests to ensure smooth traffic flow.
Various forms of protests have been consistently hampering traffic movement in Belagavi for a significant period of time. Therefore, it is imperative for the city corporation and the district administration to consider creating an exclusive protest zone. This would protect the rights of citizens while also ensuring unimpeded mobility.
As the new six-story building is being envisioned and the bhoomi pujan (groundbreaking ceremony) is likely to take place during the upcoming Winter session, it is essential to contemplate the inclusion of an exclusive protest zone within this premises.
This is the need of the hour, and such ideas should be incorporated into the planning process to allow the city to breathe freely while ensuring that voices are heard more effectively.