Bangalore: Two shopping complexes razed to save lake

Bangalore: Two shopping complexes razed to save lake

Bangalore: Two shopping complexes razed to save lake

The Bangalore urban district administration on Tuesday carried out a demolition drive to save the Iblur lake on Sarjapura road. It did not spare “encroachers” like Sobha Developers and Sun City.

A portion of a six-storey apartment complex, a sump, a garden, a parking lot, two shopping complexes, a warehouse and 14 sheds of a crematorium were demolished. Two roads in the encroached portion would be dug up later. The administration recently won a long-drawn legal battle to save the lake. On Tuesday, it descended on the encroached area with 80 police personnel, 70 revenue officers, 16 earth-moving machines, 11 tippers, many tractors and 11 compressors. 

Officials said the Iblur lake on Sy No 36 in Begur Hobli of Bangalore South taluk was shown in government records as being spread over 18 acres and six guntas of land. But, due to the encroachment, its extent was reduced to a mere seven acres and 32 guntas.

The arrival of the demolition team created panic among land grabbers and residents of the apartments. Tension prevailed when the encroachers turned violent. Police had to resort to mild lathicharge. Residents sought to know why the administration was in a slumber all these years when the encroachment was happening and the buildings coming up. They also demanded an explanation from the administration for punishing innocent apartment owners instead of the developers. But, the officials were in no mood to listen to the arguments. 

Sources said Sun City had encroached upon five guntas and Sobha four. Another developer, Harish Reddy, had encroached upon 8.5 guntas. A crematorium had come up on one acre and 25 guntas. 

Sobha Developers condemned the demolition, stating that the law was not followed as no notices were served on families living in the apartments. Some residents have decided to drag the builders and the authorities to court for cheating them.

Meanwhile, when authorities went to demolish a commercial building constructed illegally by Joseph, his relatives let four ferocious dogs loose on them. The demolition team panicked and started running helter-skelter. The BBMP’s dog-catching squad was summoned.