BBMP continues demolition drive

BBMP continues demolition drive

500 km of storm water drains in the City encroached, says Meena

BBMP workers demolishing buildings constructed over Raja Kaluve (storm water drain) at Sultanpet in Bangalore on Monday. dh photoHe was talking to reporters at Sultanpet where he had gone to inspect the ongoing anti-encroachment drive to clear the storm water drain.

Meena said there are around 800 kilometres of major storm water drains in the City, of which around 500 kilometres are under encroachment. He said BBMP will not go soft on encroachment of these drains.

Bharatlal said the encroachment had resulted in the mixing of storm water drains with the sewerage lines. The BBMP has asked the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to clear its drains and also lay fresh lines wherever required.

He however, ruled out possibilities of sewerage mixing with the drinking water.

Buildings in a stretch of around 500 metres had come up on the storm water drain in Sultanpet, which was causing flooding every year. Awakened by the deaths of people washed away in the SWDs, the BBMP carried out the drive against encroachment of the drains and chose Sultanpet despite stiff resistance from the owners of the properties and the tenants living there.

A week back, the BBMP razed a four-storey building on the storm-water drain. In the last three days, the Palike has demolished the Balaji Enterprises, a business complex which has six partners, said sources.

They added that Balaji Enterprises may take at least four to five more days to be fully demolished. The BBMP is searching for options to file criminal cases besides levying penalty on the encroachers of Sultanpet storm-water drain.

The businessmen who have taken portions of the encroached building, complained to Deccan Herald that for the last 33 years the buildings were there but never had the BBMP or any other civic authority taken note of clearing the encroachment.

However, they welcomed the latest move saying that due to the encroachment there used to be flooding in the area every year. They, however, demanded compensation to the tenants who had taken the shops on lease.