BBMP: 64 houses razed to ground

Houses built on encroached land on storm water drain, notices were served

BBMP: 64 houses razed to ground

Homes that had elders, teenagers, women and even a new born. Tens of people were out on the streets as a result of this demolition drive. Some cried foul, while others remained mute spectators to the JCBs running down the homes of these lower middle class people.

While the BBMP claimed that ample time was given for the locals to vacate, the latter complained that they were duped by the authorities. “We had a discussion with the BBMP authorities 15 days back where it was agreed upon that we need to vacate from only those areas where the bottlenecks had risen on the Storm Water Drain (SWD),” informed Syed
Risalath Ja, a social worker who worked with the people in Tannery Road.

According to Risalath Ja, the BBMP that had agreed to clear only 10 meters for the SWD, later made an unilateral decision to remove 20 meters from the area.

Responding to the allegations, the BBMP, Joint Commissioner, Venkataramana Nayak said: “This is the first time that the residents had voluntarily come forward and parted with their homes for the demolition drive. There will always be a voice of dissent, as the homes they built will be lost. But most people had come out in support of our drive.” When asked if any compensation or help will be given to the people who had lost their homes, Nayak
responded in the negative.

The Palike rules state that no compensation or help will be given to people who have encroached upon lands or SWDs belonging to BBMP.

The locals alleged that the authorities were hand in glove with the local mafia who intend to encroach upon the land available now after the removal of these houses. “We have the Supreme Court ruling clearly stating that houses on barren land can be left untouched if it is away from the SWDs. Under this clause alone, as many as 20 houses can be saved,” argued Risalath.

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