Residents in fix as BBMP starts razing ‘illegal’ flats

Residents in a fix as BBMP starts razing ‘illegal’ flats

Nishita Platinum apartments in Puttenahalli in JP Nagar.

Around 25 families face the prospect of losing their homes five years after they spent over Rs 50 lakh on flats, which the BBMP officials began demolishing on Friday.

Residents of Nishita Platinum at Puttenahalli in JP Nagar were horrified to see BBMP officials bring down the compound wall of their apartment.

They started a flash protest against the demolition and sat on dharna on the road questioning officials: “Where will we go if our house is brought down without warning?”

The apartment, consisting of 25 flats, was built in a joint venture between landowner Vasumati and builder Ravichandran. The joint commissioner, however, said there were multiple violations starting with the design.

Joint commissioner for Bommanahalli zone M Ramakrishna explained that the demolition was being carried out on the court’s direction. “It is not the BBMP’s initiative. The Karnataka High Court ordered demolition after a PIL raised the issue of the apartment violating bylaws,” he said.

“The apartment stands on two sites each measuring about 60X50. The BBMP had approved two individual building plans. However, the builder merged them and constructed an apartment. He has also violated rules regarding the floor area ratio and the setback area. The demolition was ordered due to multiple violations.”

Residents, however, said they were not aware of the violations. “We were not aware of any of these. We paid Rs 50 lakh for each apartment. The builder vanished before completing the work. We pooled in money to finish work on providing basic amenities like electricity, water supply and other basics, including the compound wall which was brought down by the BBMP,” a resident said.

Officials said they paused the demolition after the residents managed to obtain an order allowing status quo till Monday. “Our next move will depend on what the court says on Monday,” the joint commissioner said. A delegation of residents spent their entire evening with an advocate. “Some of us have spent our life’s savings to buy a flat here,” a resident said.

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