High Court raps BBMP knuckles

High Court raps BBMP knuckles

Palike slammed for not providing alternative roads to pvt layouts

 Hearing a contempt petition, the Court directed the Palike Commissioner to appear before it and explain why a 2006 order to build an alternative road for a private layout through Defence land was not implemented.

Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice H G Ramesh castigated the Palike for not ensuring road access to the residents of Patel Krishnareddy Layout, Sharadamma Layout and Amarjyothi Layout.

On an earlier PIL filed by the residents of Amarjyothi Layout, a High Court bench had directed the BBMP to provide an alternative road since the existing access road was blocked by the Armoured Service Corps (ASC) which claimed ownership of the property.

The court directed the Defence authorities to allow the residents to use the road until an alternative road was constructed. The Palike was asked to build the alternative road at the earliest.

But when the BBMP delayed building the road for years, the Union of India filed a contempt petition. When the BBMP said that three layouts in the vicinity need road connectivity, the bench said, “Three or 33, it is not our concern. From hearing to hearing, you have lied to the court. You have made this court a laughing stock. You are taking us lightly.”

A recurring issue

Road connectivity to civilian areas through defence land has been a recurring issue. In the recent past, 13 families which lived atop the Chimney Hills were isolated due to the road being closed along Hessarghatta Road.

In 2000, the Indian Air Force authorities had started objecting to civilian movement near the radar station atop the Hill, which led the families to seek legal redress. After nine long years of legal battle, the residents lost the case in July, 2009. While not blocking movement for nearly six months, in December 2009, IAF began asserting its ownership on the land and barricaded the only approach road.

It was claimed that the IAF was apprehensive of the mushrooming of educational institutions in the vicinity of its station, and in particular the considerable influx of students from foreign countries in the institutions. In view of the security intelligence advisories on possible threats to defence installations, the IAF had intensified its vigil around its establishments.

Status quo ordered

The High Court has directed the BDA to maintain staus quo on acquisition of land for the formation of Visvevaraya Layout.

Petitioners had claimed that their lands situated in Sonnenahalli, Ramasandra, Kammaghatta and Kengeri be either denotified or exempted from acquisition as per the previous directions of the court. In an earlier round of litigation, the High Court had upheld the acquisition proceedings and issued certain directions to the BDA extending some relief to land owners. However, the plea of the petitioners was dismissed on the ground that they had sold their land and had no interest in the land notified for
acquisition. But a Division Bench partly allowed the appeal therefrom, directing the BDA to consider the petitioners’ claims. The Supreme Court dismissed a special leave petition by the BDA.

The petitioners again moved the High Court when the BDA rejected their claims.

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