The residents of Chamarajpet protested against the construction of an Indira Canteen on the Rameshwara temple premises near Kannada Sahitya Parishat in Chamarajpet late Monday evening.

Around 60 residents gathered near the temple to protest even as an earthmover demolished the compound wall to facilitate the construction of the canteen. Although the residents successfully prevented a earthmover from demolishing the wall last week, they could do little on Monday due to the police presence.

The local residents have a lot of regard for the 300-year-old temple as it is known for its rich heritage and for the way it organises various festivals. But now, the construction of the canteen on the temple premises has caused concern among residents.

Dr A Prakash, who lives opposite the temple said, “The sanctity of the temple will be lost if a canteen is built here. I have been seeing this temple every day since my birth and I understand its value and heritage.” He has been living there for 63 years.

Another resident, Sunil said, “Women and children come here to worship. Nobody would like to see a canteen on a temple premises.”

Meanwhile, B V Ganesh, ex-BJP corporator said, “We have no objection to the Indira Canteen project. But the way in which they are allotting space to build them is absolutely unacceptable. There is no need to build a canteen on the temple premises which has such a rich history.”

Meanwhile, Kokila Chandrashekar, area corporator, said, “The land belongs to the Muzrai department and the temple authorities have not objected to the canteen. Moreover, there is enough space to build a canteen in the place. Our aim is to ensure that food is available for all classes of people.”

The residents, who said they were not against the Indira Canteen project but only the way in which it was being executed, are planning to continue their protest on Tuesday as well. Meanwhile, Ganesh said, “We will not hesitate to go to the court if the BBMP officials do not reconsider their decision to build a canteen here.”

BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad was not available for comment.