Shift raja kaluves if buildings are built on them: HC

Shift raja kaluves if buildings are built on them: HC

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday suggested shifting of raja kaluves (stormwater drains) if buildings have come up on them, to places where no buildings exist.

While hearing a petition on December 16 in connection with the alleged encroachment of raja kaluve by Mantri Developers for their Mantri Tranquil project at Gubbalala village off Kanakapura Road near Uttarahalli, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy suggested: “I am reminded, in almost identical circumstances, the BBMP spent about Rs 182 lakh (Rs 1.82 crore) in forming the raja kaluve, man made, so as to ensure draining of storm water into Parappana Agrahara lake and if that can be done, why should it not be done here, not only here, but everywhere where raja kaluves are said to be existing and over which buildings have been erected. If alternatives are permissible, then the respondent BBMP must exert itself to make available such alternatives as long as the water course is not obstructed.”

During the hearing, the court sought details about the raja kaluve from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Chief Engineer H C Ananthaswamy, who submitted that there is a material to establish the starting and ending point of the raja kaluve in question.

The court also asked him whether any alternative could be suggested, “in the sense, that the raja kaluve could be shifted to a place where no buildings exist while retaining the gradient and ensure flow of storm water through the said drain to the lake, the Chief Engineer submits that he would have to look into records and make an appropriate survey and thereafter make suggestions.”

Aerial survey
Senior counsel D N Nanjunda Reddy submitted that Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), while preparing the master plan, had conducted an aerial survey over the topography of all properties, subject matter of master plan through the help of a French organisation whose services were engaged by BDA.

Justice Reddy noted, “If this piece of material is secured from BDA, it is certain, would assist the Chief Engineer in bringing about an alternative to the course of water other than a raja kaluve.”

Mantri Developers had approached the High Court after the BBMP served two notices on it stating that it has encroached upon the raja kaluve by constructing C and D Block of Mantri Tranquil, which should be removed. The notice was based on a High Court division bench order, headed by Chief Justice, to evict encroachment of all the raja kaluves in the City.

The second notice of the BBMP stated that the untreated sewage is let directly into the storm water drain, which has polluted the Subramanyapura Lake in the downstream.

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