BBMP to nail erring officials

BBMP to nail erring officials

Criminal cases may be registered against defaulting builders

BBMP to nail erring officials

One of the buildings being demolished in Gottigere on Sunday. DH PHOTO

On Sunday, the BBMP Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena, who was inspecting the demolition works in the City said, “We are not stating that the authorities have been oblivious to encroachments in various parts of the city. Officials who have approved the building plans abetting the encroachment of the SWD will be held responsible.”

At Gottigere, nearly eight villas, two apartments were demolished in the past week. Residents of these buildings were apprehensive of the manner in which the demolition drive was being conducted. Some questioned the survey map that indicated encroachments, while others raised questions about the manner of demolition. The 1.6 km SWD connecting two tanks, namely Hulimavu and Gottigere, have been encroached upon upto 15 feet in some sections of the area.

Officials state that the residents were given sufficient time to clear the vicinity for demolition work, however, some dissident voices said that there was no time awarded.
Rajkumar, one of the residents in Gottigere said that he was informed verbally on Thursday and on Saturday an earth excavator moved into the area to break down his home. He was present with his brother pleading with the BBMP Commissioner to spare their property. “Some said that the encroachment was five-feet, while others claim that it was five metres. There seems to be no clarity about how a demolition drive needs to be conducted,” he rued. As they approached the BBMP Commissioner with regard to the alleged illegal demolition drive, he said, “We will look into the matter.”

Rajkumar appealed to the BBMP to conduct a joint survey of the encroached SWDs in the area. In the end, the two brothers went back dejected to home, which was razed down to the earth.

Officials were found discussing about registering cases against people, who have violated the City revenue map on public property and have constructed apartment complexes and villas in Gottigere. The builders are mostly likely to be booked with criminal cases under sections of land grabbing and encroachment of government land. “If you put four such people (builders) behind bars, the rest will notice and abide by the law,” said an official.

In Ittamadu, the BBMP Commissioner Bharat Lal Meena inspected the stalled demolition work and spoke to the engineers concerned. The demolition work in Ittamadu has been stayed by the High Court for two weeks, as residents of an apartment complex, Terrace Gardens, and two other houses took to the court over the issue. “The demolition work will continue as soon as the HC stay is vacated,” said Palike officials.

Residents woes

Sudha Krishnamurthy (63) and her husband who live in Ittamadu, Banashankari 3rd Stage, built their home in 1994 on a 30x50 site. Two weeks ago, they were woken up by the sound of earth excavators mowing portions of their home. “In a bid to gather our belongings, I burnt my hands and legs. We were not given sufficient time to vacate,” said Sudha.

She claimed that on the previous day, residents in the area visited the local MLA and Minister for Transport, R Ashok to halt the demolition. “We were assured by both, Ashok and MP Ananth Kumar that demolition drive would not take place without their approval and that we could go home peacefully,” she explained. The next day at 9 am the excavators moved in, she lamented.