Row over jurisdiction delays relief for blast victims

Row over jurisdiction delays relief for blast victims

Row over jurisdiction delays relief for blast victims

The jurisdictional row between Malleswaram and Gandhi Nagar divisions of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike over Malleswaram blast on April 17 has put the owners of damaged property are left in the lurch.

As the tussle over the jurisdiction continues, residents themselves have started repairing their buildings without waiting for financial assistance from the authorities.

Houses in the vicinity of the blast site bore the brunt of the explosion. While window panes of some houses were shattered, iron grills of some houses were damaged in the blast. Revenue officials from the Malleswaram division of the Palike visited the damaged houses on Temple Street, a few days ago to prepare an estimate.

They, however, skipped the other lane on which the BJP office is located claiming that the street fell under the jurisdiction of the Gandhi Nagar division. A revenue officer said a report on the extent of damage will be submitted within three days and the final decision on the repair rests with the commissioner.

“We have taken details of about five houses on one side of the lane. The other side, where the BJP office is located, has not been surveyed as it falls under Gandhi Nagar division,” he said.

The Gandhi Nagar division revenue officials were not even aware that the blast site fell in their jurisdiction. As a result, they did not visit the other side of the lane. With there being no signs of any relief, the residents took up repair work on their own, safety being their main concern.

Damodar Reddy, whose four-storey building got badly damaged, is getting his home a makeover.“Besides glass panes of all four floors, around eight doors have been broken, walls damaged, ceiling and underground pipeline have been broken.

I can’t wait for government aid as it may take a longer time with elections,” he said. Similarly, another resident is also getting the damaged window frames and main wooden door replaced with new ones at an estimated cost of Rs one lakh.

Residents said that glass pieces were strewn all over the place mainly because of jurisdictional dispute between the two divisions.

To add to the mess, police have cordoned off the area from the day of the incident. As the road has been blocked for investigation purpose, motorists are compelled to ride on the footpath.

When contacted, Palike Commissioner Siddaiah said no work could be taken up till the elections were over. “But I will look into the report once it reaches me and act accordingly,” he added.

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