Carry out fresh survey of illegal buildings: K'taka HC

Refusing to accept the BBMP’s submission that it is facing a shortage of funds and staff to carry out the Supreme Court's order on illegal construction, the high court directed it to take the government’s assistance for the job.

The BBMP must conduct a fresh survey to identify illegal buildings in Bengaluru in phases, and the government must provide the necessary assistance, the high court ruled on Monday.

Hearing a suo motu public interest litigation petition, a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur directed the BBMP to carry out the survey afresh to identify structures that have come up without permission, those violating/deviating the plan and illegal buildings in public places. 

Refusing to accept the BBMP’s submission that it is facing a shortage of funds and staff to carry out the Supreme Court's order on illegal construction, the high court directed it to take the government’s assistance for the job.

The bench directed the government to provide adequate assistance to the civic body to carry out the entire process of identifying and demolishing illegal constructions in the city. 

Chief Justice Oka directed the BBMP to submit a proposal to the government, seeking additional staff such as engineers and demolition experts to carry out the survey and other support staff, and machinery support. 

The government should consider this proposal along with the Palike's previous proposal of seeking law experts in two months. The authority should not hire any staff on contract basis or outsource agency for the work, the chief justice said.

The BBMP should submit an affidavit on complaints on illegal constructions received in November and December along with the action-taken report at the next hearing, the court said. 

The Palike must also maintain the secrecy of details of complainants to protect them from being targeted, the chief justice added. 

The court also ordered the police to provide protection to BBMP officials right from the time of carrying out the survey and issuing show-cause notices to the buildings and during the demolition drive. 

The Palike has to prepare a schedule for the survey and submit it before the court before December 18. 

During the hearing, K N Puttegowda, advocate appearing for the BBMP, submitted that 90% of the structures in the city have violated the building norms. 

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