Mahadevapura: BBMP stops demolition, sets up STF
Similarly, BBMP has put the demolition drive against Congress MLA NA Haris-owned Nalapad Academy management, on hold, after the firm moved high court for a stay and demanded a survey.
Following the controversy over the ongoing anti-encroachment drive by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the civic body on Friday stopped the demolition drive in Mahadevapura zone and set up a survey task force (STF).
Mahadevapura was one of the worst affected areas of Bengaluru when rain lashed the city in September first week. Halting the demolition drive, the BBMP set up the STF to survey encroachments again, and issue notices.
A re-survey will be conducted in the places like Vagdevi Layout, Munnekolalu, Kasavanahalli village, ABK village, Prestige Tech Park, Wipro, Sunny Brooks Doddakannelli, Belathur village, Sadaramangala village, Bollineni Sasa Apartment Interior and Sai Garden Layout, said a BBMP official.
Similarly, BBMP has put the demolition drive against Congress MLA NA Haris-owned Nalapad Academy management, on hold, after the firm moved the high court for a stay and demanded a joint survey.
The decision to stop the demolition has led to strong reactions among the residents whose houses were demolished earlier this week. A resident of Papaiah Reddy Layout in Mahadevapura Zone, Ramesh Kumar, whose house’s compound wall was demolished over encroachment on the stormwater drains said that the BBMP “is harsh on common people but unable to take action against the rich”.
“The politicians and IT parks are given time to get stay orders from the court but we were not even given a notice before our buildings were demolished. We tried to tell them that we had an occupancy certificate, but they didn’t listen to us. We will come on the road in protest if BBMP continues this double game,” he added.
Meanwhile, the demolitions continued in other parts of the city. On Friday, 29 encroachments were removed by the civic agency. Dasarahalli zone saw its first drive with buildings being demolished at the stormwater drain near Rukmini Nagar. Around two encroachments were removed in Yelahanka. During the inspection, it was found that a layout was formed on the stormwater drain near Singapura Lake, blocking the water flow.
In the Bommanahalli zone, 11 encroachments were identified, including a commercial building and eight sheds. In the Mahadevapura zone, encroachments were removed near Shantiniketan Layout.
In data submitted to Karnataka high court on Thursday, the BBMP said that 2,626 encroachments on stormwater drains were identified in the period 2016-17 within the municipal limits, of which 627 are still left to be removed.
BJP MLA from Mahadevapura, Arvind Limbavali said that the drive will resume soon. The MLA held a meeting with the officials of the BBMP on Friday and following the meeting, he tweeted “In Mahadevapura assembly constituency limits the clearing of encroachment at rajakaluve (stormwater drains) is being carried out. As a continuation, is instructed to mark the encroached main rajakaluves at 35 locations and continue the work of clearing them in the presence of the joint commissioner, tehsildar, chief engineer and revenue officials. During this occasion, JC Shri Venkatachalapathi, tehsildar Ajit Rai, CE Shri Basavaraj Kabade, several officials and leaders were present.”
Meanwhile, accusing the BJP government of going slow on the development of stormwater drains (SWDs) in Bengaluru that resulted in flooding of several areas during the recent rains, Congress member Krishna Byre Gowda alleged on Thursday that the government had diverted funds earmarked for construction of SWDs to other minor works.
“The BJP dispensation was able to complete development of only 63 km of SWDs in Bengaluru in the last three years as against the requirement of developing about 400 km. Such lethargic progress is the main reason for the recent flooding of the city,” Gowda said while participating in a debate during an Assembly session on the problems of people due to recent heavy rains.
“The government has diverted around ₹350 crore from the ₹1,321 crore that had been earmarked for the development of SWDs,” he alleged, adding that money was diverted towards taking up the development of small roads in the city.
He explained that a total of 400 km of SWDs had been developed in Bengaluru till 2018-19 (before the BJP came to power). Since then, the BJP had been able to develop only 63 km of SWDs though it had to develop another 400 km to insulate the city from floods, he said.
Pointing out that Karnataka in general and Bengaluru, in particular, had been receiving heavy rains in the last four years, Gowda argued that the government should have anticipated rains this year too and taken up development of SWDs well in advance to prepare for any eventuality.