EWS dwellers in Ejipura protest against 'eviction'

Quarters demolished eight years ago yet to be reconstructed; people live in sheds near the quarters

Many residents of the now demolished Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) Quarters  staged a protest against their alleged eviction in Ejipura on Monday.

The residents living in the sheds came together in the morning on learning about the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) plans to vacate them. The protesters said that they would not leave the place as long as proper arrangements were not made along with a deadline to finish the construction of quarters.

The residents were angry with the Palike that it 'illegally' entered into an agreement with the Maverick Holdings Private Limited to construct residential quarters and also a commercial complex adjacent to it.

The agreement says that 1,640 flats will be built for the EWS on about eight acres of the land while in rest of the area a mall would come up. The residents alleged that BBMP entered into a shady deal for the piece of land, which was specifically reserved for them.

Abdul Rafique, an office-bearer of the Ejipura EWS Welfare Association said they staged the dharna to draw the attention of people towards a possible forceful eviction.

He said, “Today, the BBMP was supposed to evict us but due to our protest it could not happen. We got to know from some officers that the BBMP plans to bring in police forces to displace us. We will not let this happen.”

Madhavan, another resident, said, “Some of the people who were allotted quarters lived elsewhere in the City leasing or renting out their property. We are the real marginalised section living here for the last 16 years.”

People from EWS have been living in the temporary sheds after they were vacated eight years ago when two residential quarters collapsed in 2003 and 2004 due to poor quality construction.

The BBMP had demolished other buildings finding it dangerous for occupation and assured the residents that it would soon construct new quarters for them.

While no concrete action has been taken till today against the erring officers responsible for the poor construction, pucca houses have not been constructed in the last eight years, reducing the occupants to slum dwellers.

A BBMP officer said the Karnataka High Court had cleared the decks to construct the 1,512 quarters.

The court was told that the allottees have been given  the option to live at Iglur near Anekal.

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