District admn demolishes 6 illegal houses on beach

Officials who helped building houses may be pulled up

District admn demolishes 6 illegal houses on beach


Deputy Commissioner V Ponnuraj, who is also the Chairman of Coastal Zone Management Committee, told Deccan Herald that though there are allegations of officials’ involving in CRZ violations and government land encroachment networks in the coastal areas, there is no direct evidence to prove it.
However, he said, departments concerned will conduct inquiry to find whether officials are involved in procuring documents and permissions for the violators.
The DC said that the demolition drive will continue to clear all illegal buildings along coast between Thalapadi and Mulki. He said that though there are 120 illegal buildings on the coast in the district, those dwellings of poor and fishermen will not be demolished in the first phase. Notices will be served to all such illegal structures and action will be taken after making alternative arrangements for the rehabilitation of poor, he added.
Assistant Commissioner Prabhulinga Kavalikatti said that all the six buildings were built by violating CRZ norms. Permanent construction is not allowed on land 200 meters adjacent to sea shore under the CRZ Act, he added.
Notices were sent to all concerned parties several times, he said adding that the       demolition drive was initiated since  there was no response.

Official lapses
All illegal houses, which were demolished on Thursday, had electricity connections and a palatial mansion worth about Rs 2 crore was constructed even without any proper documents.

Revenue Inspector Shankar Suvarna told Deccan Herald that the palatial mansion was built at a site belonged to one Kamala, who is a fisherwomen. Gram panchayat had given a door number to the hut of Kamala several years ago and the present new house at the site does not have door number or any other document, he added.
However, electricity connection was provided to the house and the Mescom employees disconnected it on Thursday as part of the demolition drive. The ‘owner’ of the house was all set to celebrate the house warming ceremony on Monday.

Writ petition in HC
Three persons, who built houses in Uchil have already filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking stay on dispossession and demolition of their construction on the coast. Registering the petion filed by petitioners Pramod Kumar Rai, Joseph Saldanha and Ajith Malli on November 2, the court directed the Revenue Department Secretary and the Dakshina Kannada district Deputy Commissioner to appear before it in this connection within 10 days. Hence, the District Administration could not carry out demolition on their sites.

Roadblock by villagers
Earlier, when officials, police and home guards reached Uchil to carry out demolition drive, some people staged protest by blocking the road. However, villagers stopped their agitation and dispersed when officials and police convinced them about the legality of the drive.
Officials including Tahsildar Ravichandra Naik, Environment Department Regional Director J N Patil, Assistant Director Mahesh Kumar, Revenue Inspector Shankar Suvarna, Supeintendent of Police Dr A S Rao, Home Guards Commandant Dr Nidarsh Hegde and cops led the demolition drive.

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