Engineers contradict Siddaiah on 'encroachment' by Mantri Developers

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Siddaiah would not have imagined that his engineers in the stormwater drain (SWD) division will prove him wrong much to the convenience of a builder.

Siddaiah, on February 27 this year, had stated in the BBMP Council that Mantri Developers had encroached upon a SWD for its Mantri Tranquil project and that he had ordered its removal. He gave the statement in the Council on a question raised by Leader of the Opposition M K Gunashekar.

The Congress leader had alleged that he had records to show Mantri Tranquil and many other builders have encroached upon the stormwater drain and were letting untreated sewage through it. He had also raised the matter of an illegal drain constructed over a natural stormwater drain.

Replying to his query, Siddaiah had agreed that Mantri Developers had encroached upon the SWD for its Mantri Tranquil project and had set up a Sewage Treatment Plant above it.

Demolition order

He informed the Council that he had ordered for the demolition of the encroached portion to free the stormwater drain.

BBMP sources said Siddaiah gave the statement after inspecting the encroached portion of the SWD and had ordered the builder to remove it.

His subordinates not only defied his instructions to remove the encroachment even after two months of his statement in the Council, they also proved him wrong.

To an RTI query, about the extent of encroachment of the SWD by the builder, BBMP engineers said the drain had not been encroached. According to them, as Mantri had not occupied the government land illegally for its project, they said the question on the extent of encroachment and measures taken for its removal was 'not applicable'.

Three years ago

Former Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Opposition leader and Nandini Layout corporator M Nagaraj, who had first raised this issue three years ago, reiterated that Mantri did encroach upon the drain. He said he had forgotten the actual extent of encroachment, but “they are still sitting on it”.

In this regard, when Mantri Builders vice president Kiran Kumar was contacted, he said Mantri Developers never believed in such activities.

“We believe in clean business. Our projects are going on in Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune, but nowhere we face such accusations,” said Kiran Kumar.

He said such allegations were not new and were levelled in the past too, which were proved wrong.

He claimed that Siddaiah had given them a ‘clean chit’ six months ago.

However, when he was reminded that  the Palike commissioner had confirmed encroachment in the Council two months ago, he said he would check with his executives and and reply.

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