Bengaluru Residents Protest to Save Heritage Church from Demolition for Metro Construction

Reported by

Tamanna NaseerLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

October 7, 2021

Location of Conflict


Bengaluru Urban

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Urban Development (Other than Smart Cities)

Metro project



People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year






Since May 2019, members of the All Saints Church in Bengaluru have been protesting (silent campaigns from home during the COVID19 pandemic) against the temporary acquisition of around 4,500 square metres of land for three to four years by the Bengaluru Metro Railway Corporation Limited (BMRCL). The proposed acquisition is to facilitate the construction of the Vellara junction Metro station (which will connect Nagawara to Gottigere through Shivajinagar and MG road). The protesters told LCW that in case the BMRCL acquires the church land for construction activities, there is a risk of the church building collapsing as it was built 150 years ago with materials like sand, rubble concrete and limestone. The church premise also houses a school for 60 children with disabilities, and hundreds of people attend the Sunday mass at the church. The land acquisition will require the felling of about 180 trees, which will affect the green cover as well. The church is also used to host wedding ceremonies and funerals. The protesters claim that as per the original Detailed Project Report, the Metro line was to run underneath Hosur Road but was later proposed to be shifted within the church compound. The BMRCL has already acquired around 3,500 square metres of area in the church premises permanently for construction of the Metro line. The members of the church congregation wrote a letter to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on May 16, 2019, to intervene and persuade the Metro officials to not acquire additional church land on a temporary basis. On December 5, the Ashoknagar Police authorities sent a notice to members of the church, warning them against holding a protest and forming a human chain on December 12 (as they had requested permission). The police noted that a similar protest by the church had earlier disrupted traffic on June 26, 2019. The members of the church told LCW that repeated negotiations with Metro officials have not led to fruitful solutions. After studying the Delhi Metro and discussing with engineers, the church recommended some measures to alleviate the conflict. These include moving the station 75 metres to the left (to prevent damage to the church property), moving the train track underground and combining Elgin and Vellara stations into one. Officials, on the other hand, claim that the church building would not be impacted as the Metro alignment on Hosur Road is 36 metres away from the church and does not pass underneath it. They also mention that only 26 trees will be cut and some of those can be transplanted within the church premises. Refuting the BMRCLs claim that the Cubbon Park Metro Station was built just three metres away from the 100yearold CTO Building in Shivaji Nagar, the church members told LCW that the structure of the two buildings are different and that the church will not be able to withstand damages caused by construction activities. In September 2020, it was reported that the European Investment Bank, which is the financier of Bengaluru Reach 6 metro line, had scheduled to mediate talks within a month between the BMRCL and All Saints Church. Meanwhile, the BMRCL has itself decided to reduce the land area for the Vellara junction metro station to avoid land acquisition woes.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Protection of church campus by stopping temporary acquisition of church land by Bengaluru Metro Railway Corporation Limited

Region Classification


Type of Land


Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Year of Estimation


Has the Conflict Ended?


When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976

    Section 8 [Prior permission of the tree officer required for the felling of trees]

  2. Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976

    Section 178(2) [Government empowered to take over any land or property for public purpose, by notification and after consultation with the municipal corporation]

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:


Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Ashoknagar police issued a notice to members of the All Saints Church congregation and other members of the public for opposing the move of the BMRCL to acquire additional land.

Date of Violation

December 5, 2019

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches, Public campaign, Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited, Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?


Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Yashwant Chavan, chief public relations officer, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited, said, "The Metro authority’s stand is clear. The construction of the Metro will not have any impact on the structure of the church as the Metro alignment on Hosur Road is 36 metres away from the church and does not pass underneath it." He also handed over the press release issued by the BMRCL on March 16, 2020, which explains the corporation's stand on the issue.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?


Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Tamanna Naseer

Reviewed By

Tamanna Naseer

Updated By

Tamanna Naseer

Edited By

Tamanna NaseerLand Conflict Watch

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