Slum-dwellers raze shelters built for them

As many as 116 slum-dwellers living in the Puttenahalli lakebed area in Electronic City have been booked for allegedly demolishing over hundred shelters built by the Slum Clearance Board to rehabilitate them.

The incident came to light when Kumar Eshwar, executive engineer of the Slum Clearance Board, visited the site and found out the residential quarters turned into a heap of debris.

Out of 118 shelters, 114 have been demolished.

In his complaint to Electronic City police, Eshwar said the project was taken up by the board at the behest of the state government to rehabilitate those living in the lakebed area.

The board built the quarters in February on 2.24 acres of land and allocated them to the slum-dwellers.

The residents, however, continued to live in the lakebed area. They allegedly demolished the shelters after being repeatedly asked to move into the new quarters, police said.

The accused have not only razed down 114 houses, but also demolished 20 toilets and water tanks and fittings, causing a huge loss to the board, running into several crores.

Preliminary inquiries revealed that the slum-dwellers were unhappy with the substandard work and wanted the board to hand over the ownership rights to the allotees instead of moving them into newer locations.

The police have summoned the allotees for questioning.

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