Property owner digs up Cunningham Road footpath

Property owner digs up Cunningham Road footpath

BBMP caught napping

Just a day after the Union government announced an award for the BBMP's TenderSURE road project, a property owner dug up the footpath of Cunningham Road on Saturday for landscaping. Shockingly, the civic body didn't even know about it until DH called up a senior official. 

The busy thoroughfare in the central business district was among the first to be developed under the TenderSURE project last year. 

Workers hired by Mohammed Sajid, who owns a commercial complex right in front of the footpath, removed the pavement tiles and ripped the concrete off using drilling machines. The broken concrete was spilled onto the footpath, obstructing pedestrians, a local resident said. 

The resident, who refused to be identified, said the labourers had been at work for the past 15 days. "We asked them for permission, they didn't have any," he said. "It's nothing but destroying public property for personal gains." 

According to the resident, their efforts to contact the BBMP didn't bear fruit. "TenderSURE roads are top-notch but people don't know how to maintain them," he added. 

When this newspaper contacted K T Nagaraj, Chief Engineer, Project Central, BBMP, he had no clue about the incident. But he hastened to add: "If this is happening, we will lodge a police complaint. We had a similar case about a building owner digging up the TenderSURE footpath recently and we got an FIR registered. We fined him Rs 5 lakh." 

The incident clearly rattled BBMP officials. Hours after DH raised the matter, a team of officials rushed to the spot in the evening and inspected the stretch. They concluded that the property owner had indeed destroyed the footpath. A BBMP engineer said a police complaint would be filed on Monday. 

On Friday, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced a 'commendable initiative award' for TenderSURE roads under the non-motorised transport project. On TenderSURE roads, all utility cables are built under the footpath so that they don't have to be dug up for maintenance. These roads have won all-round praise for being pedestrian-friendly and durable. 

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