Plans to shift Beggars' colony dropped

Plans to shift Beggars' colony dropped

Social Welfare Minister A Narayanaswamy told reporters on Thursday that the department has dropped the plan to shift the colony and directed the department officials to get back the land from the BDA.

“There is no question of shifting the colony. The department will not allow any commercial development of the land,” he stated.

The State Government had in August, 2010, issued an order transferring 123.30 acre of the 161.30 acre prime land on which the infamous Beggars’ Colony is located, to the BDA so that it could construct a convention centre, a park and a hospital.

Besides, permission was granted to the BDA to utilise 30 per cent of the land for commercial development.

The plan was to relocate the Beggar Rehabilitation Centre, also referred to as the Beggars’ Colony, to the 38-acre plot on the northern side (beyond the pipeline) that will continue to remain with the Social Welfare Department for an estimated cost of Rs 40 crore.

Stiff opposition

The government had transferred the land to the BDA despite stiff opposition from the Legislative Standing Committee for SC and ST Welfare.

The committee had recommended that the entire land should continue to be in the
possession of the Social Welfare Department so that it could take up future expansion of the colony, besides providing better facilities to the destitutes.

Narayanaswamy further said though an order was issued to handover the land, the BDA had not yet taken possession of it.

“I have already spoken to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in this regard. The land will be taken back. The department is chalking out its own plan to give a face-lift to the colony. I have directed the department Commissioner to submit a detailed report in this regard,” he stated."

The Minister said about 70 per cent of inmates in the colony are from other States, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharastra.

“We are simply feeding them all. Hence, steps are being taken to identify beggars. Biometric and face reading devises will also be installed,” he added.

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