SWD clearance: Palike's words differ from deeds

SWD clearance: Palike's words differ from deeds

The civic agency still needs to do a lot more, according to the petitioner in a public interest litigation, following which the High Court took up the matter seriously.
Five Year Law Course Advocates’ Association had filed a PIL on encroachment of stormwater drains in the City. The Palike invited the wrath of the High Court for not complying with its directions to clear the encroachments.

The Commissioner was even summoned to the Court, and the chief engineer, stormwater drains, filed an affidavit stating that the zonal engineers would identify and clear encroachments, and a status report would be made available to the petitioner.
The case was accordingly disposed of on August 4.

The Palike, in its report dated August 30, intimated the petitioner that of the 540 encroachments identified in eight zones of the City, 396 have been cleared, achieving 72.96 per cent of the target. The east zone tops with 331 encroachments of which 269 had been cleared. Of the 13 encroachments identified in west zone, four had been cleared. Twenty-two of the 72 encroachments in Dasarhalli zone too had been cleared. The report claims cent per cent achievement in south zone, Bommanahalli and Yelahanka zones.

However, Association president S Umesh says that the Palike is still way behind. The BBMP is yet to act on a long list of encroachments submitted by him. His list names Chowdeshwari Kalyana Mantap on Bannerghatta Road, Venkateshwara Nursing Home, Lakkasandra and Ulsoor lake.

According to the petition, corporation shops have been constructed on an SWD in Shivajinagar. The petitioner, on September 17, also brought to the notice of the Commissioner the uncleared encroachments on Lalbagh Road, JC Road  and Kumbargudi main road. “It is a matter of surprise that multi-storey buildings have been constructed over stormwater drains and the BBMP is silent over the matter,” the complaint says.
The petitioner has also pointed out that a huge apartment cluster has acquired a large portion of SWD at Siddapura village. Though the SWD runs through the apartment, the BBMP has turned a blind eye to the violation, alleges the petitioner. The High Court has granted libery to the petitioner to verify the ground reality against the Palike’s claims. 
Given the wide gap between words and deeds, the petitioner Association is now planning contempt proceedings against BBMP. It has already issued a notice to the Palike.

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