Mangaluru, July 29,2017: The prolonging dispute over the plan to rename ’St Aloysius Road’ is taken forward with St Aloysius College Alumni Association (SACAA) forming an action committee to intensify their struggle. A 125-member action committee includes alumni, student organisation president and prominent members of the staff.
Speaking to reporters, registrar of St Aloysius College Dr A M Narahari, on July 28, Friday, said, "The action committee has been formed to retain the name of ’St Aloysius Road’ against the plan to rename the stretch of road from Dr B R Ambedkar Circle (Jyothi) to Catholic Club Junction at Hampankatta as ’Mulki Sunder Ram Shetty Road,’ as announced by Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) following a request in this regard from Vijaya Bank Workers Organisation.
The action committee will meet on July 29, to decide the future course of action. Prof Narahari, took potshots at Buntara Yane Nadavara Sangha president Ajit Kumar Malady for propogating the cause of Vijaya Bank workers for naming the road after Shetty, a popular chairman of the bank in 60s to 80s. He criticised Malady for giving a communal colour to the intervention of legislators during a recent media briefing.
Quoting the recent stay order of the government restraining any bid to rename the road, Narahari said that the government had also stressed on finding out an amicable solution under the leadership of District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai. However, the representatives of Vijaya Bank Workers Organisation are not willing for any dialogue, he said.
Information : Prof Narahari said to he has evidences to disprove the claims that ’St Aloysius Road’ lacks legal sanctity. He disclosed that he has in his possession documents related to the launch of centenary celebrations of the institution during 1979.
The municipality was in existence then and the road was named after Aloysius (with a plaque engraved on the compound wall of KMC building) due to the efforts of former ministers Blasius D’Souza and P F Rodrigues. The then Kerala High Court Chief Justice Gopalan, also an alumni of the institute, Gopal Nambiar, C M Poonacha and former education minister Subbaiah Shetty were present at that time. Till then the road was known as Light House Hill Road, the registrar said.
The three yellow name boards put up in front of a book stall, deviation point on Light House Hill and in front of the District Library were removed during the road widening works and concretisation of the same stretch.
Narahari said that in addition to this, Malady himself has admitted that the same board existed, as mentioned in his memorandum to the district in-charge minister. Most importantly, Mangalore Catholic Cooperative Bank Ltd., located on the same stretch, also changed the details of its registered address from LHH road to Aloysius Road.
The mention of ’SAC road’ in the map printed in centenary souvenir of the college and also the details of ward 40 in MCC website with relevant information are the other strong evidences, he added.
The institution has also suggested three alternatives to Vijaya Bank Workers’ Organisation to arrive on a consensus. If every attempts goes futile, they are exploring the possibilities of initiating legal action, followed by a meeting with the chief minister and protests in peaceful manner.
Rector of the institute Fr Dionysius Vaz said, "We are still open to dialogue and the district in-charge minister should convene a meeting as soon as possible. Besides, a win-win solution is also agreeable.’ Many people felt that as a middle path the ancient name of "Light House Hill Road" was clean and non-controversial.