High Court stays clearance of encroachment at Mantri Tranquil

High Court stays clearance of encroachment at Mantri Tranquil

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday stayed the removal of encroachment on the stormwater drain (SWD) inside the Mantri Tranquil Apartment premises off Kanakapura Road in Gubbalala village near Uttarahalli, and directed the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and the district authorities to identify the starting and the end point of the drain.

The stay came when the BBMP started clearing the encroachment on the SWD at the apartment on Tuesday morning. The Palike authorities said their action was based on an order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court, headed by the Chief Justice.

Granting a stay on the Palike's action, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy called the BBMP’s action a witch-hunt. “Isn’t it a kind of witch-hunt to demolish a structure without finding the starting and the end point of the stormwater drain?” Justice Reddy observed.

“There could be a stormwater drain, but in the absence of a starting and end point of the said drain, it is futile to identify encroachment in a small portion and then clear it,” he said.

He directed the BBMP, BDA and the revenue authorities to place before him all the records pertaining to the entire stretch of the stormwater drain, during the next hearing on Friday.

Commotion

Earlier in the day, the residents woke up to a rude shock when the BBMP officials, along with a posse of policemen, labourers, tractors and an earthmover, entered the Mantri Tranquil premises. The workers smashed a portion of the boundary wall on the eastern side of the apartment complex.

Soon, the news spread and the residents swarmed the area. They pleaded with the BBMP authorities to stop the operation, but the officials cited the High Court order allowing them to clear encroachment on the stormwater drain without any notice.

When the officials began bulldozing the access road, the residents staged a protest demonstration. One of them even climbed atop the earthmover asking the officials to stop the operation.

After the residents made several frantic calls to the police and the local politicians, Uttarahalli corporator Ramesh Raju arrived at the spot and managed to convince the Palike officials to halt the demolition.

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