Pottery Town has historic as well as artistic significance in Bangalore because it was known specifically for the making and sale of different kinds of pots.
By Praveena P.
Bangalore, March 14, 2019.
Pottery Town, which has existed in Bangalore for more than 100 years and is a very famous location for the art of pottery, will not exist after three months due to the extension of metro lines in that area.
Pottery Town has historic as well as artistic significance in Bangalore because it was known specifically for the making and sale of different kinds of pots. There used to be around 100 people who were in the pottery business.
The government, more specifically the BMRCL (Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited) is planning to extend metro lines in the city of Bangalore in all directions. Pottery Town falls under the expanse of land that has to be used to extend the metro connectivity. This is why the government is planning to evacuate the entire area after three months.
An official from the BMRCL said, “We have already reduced human traffic in the city with the help of the existing metro lines. Once we expand, we will be able to regulate the flow of human traffic even better, and road transport will be much easier to use.”
“Metro is efficient in many ways, like saving money, time, fuel, and energy. Establishing it will require a lot of work and certain problems have to be dealt with, but in the end, it will be helpful for everyone,” he added.
When enquired about the metro line extension in Pottery Town, he said, “Some of the land in that area belongs to the government. So, we will have to make them evacuate. We will give them any compensation for those who own the land in that area.”
The issue here is that no compensation amount has been guaranteed to the residents and potters who dwell in Pottery Town to shift their houses and businesses elsewhere. They claim that they are being asked to move against their will with no assured compensation amount. The residents of that area have filed numerous petitions against BMRCL which is in charge of the extension project, but no action has been taken and the issue with the compensation fee not being offered still prevails.
Aravind, aged 27, is the owner of a pot-making shop named G. Sivananda Clay Tandoor Manufacturers. He stated that this business had been in existence in this area for more than 75 years. It had been established by his great-grandfather. He proudly mentioned that whenever people wish to come to Pottery Town from other parts of the city and type in the location in their phones, his shop is the location that appears on Google Maps.
Aravind said that his business never has been at a complete loss all these years. He claimed that this business is season-based. “During summer, people buy more water jugs and glasses. During monsoon, people buy more pots for plants. Restaurants buy huge pots throughout the year over which rotis and tandoori chicken is made. These pots are known as Tandoori pots,” he said.
“During Ganesh Chathurthi, large statues of the Hindu God, Ganesha are sold the most,” he added. They also bring in some clay pots and glasses from North India for sale here, since some of these have exclusive designs and are made of a different type of clay.
Bhagyalakshmi, a home-maker said, “I like using clay water jugs because the water kept in that will be cooler than water kept in other stainless steel or glass jugs. This water will be much better to drink during summer.”
Another potter named Govardhan said, “My business will be at its peak during marriage season because I make small pots which are used for serving kulfis (ice-cream). If I move to another place, my business will plunge. Right now, I sell 1,000 pieces a day at the cost of Rs. 2 per piece. I work for 20 days a month and earn around 40,000 per month. This won’t be possible if it had been in any location other than Pottery Town.”
“People are scared to protest for compensation money or allocation of slots for us to move. Earlier, there used to be more than 100 people in the business. But now, we are barely 60 people. We have tried appealing to the Councillor of our area, but it was of no use. ”
Aravind said, “Pottery Town is the first place people think of when they want any kind of pots. Without Pottery Town as our identity, our sales will fall and our business will be in loss. We can’t do pottery business from different corners of the city. We will lose our signature as well as identity, which has existed for more than 100 years.”
Lawyer Brijeshan stated that the government might be able to legally reclaim the area in court since segments of the land belongs to the government.