Agencies not helping in clearing SWD encroachments, Palike tells Upa Lokayukta

Agencies not helping in clearing SWD encroachments, Palike tells Upa Lokayukta

Agencies not helping in clearing SWD encroachments, Palike tells Upa Lokayukta

The BBMP has submitted before the Upalokayukta that clearing encroachments on stormwater drains (SWDs) was delayed because of non co-operation by the police, Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) and the district administration. 

The Upalokayukta had directed the BBMP to submit an action taken report on encroachment and diversion of sewage from the stormwater drains. The BBMP and BWSSB had promised to complete the process by December 2014. 

“The chief engineer in charge of stormwater drains has stated that substantial survey work in respect of stormwater drain, including encroachment areas, has been completed. The encroachment areas have also been identified. However, effective steps have not been taken to remove the encroachment,” Upalokayukta Justice Subhash B Adi said.

The BBMP has submitted that a co-ordinated approach is required to take up the drive against encroachments. There should be co-ordination between different departments – joint commissioner of respective zone, engineer, survey department of taluk office, BMTF and the local police. The BBMP and BWSSB have also proposed to form a team to execute the drive. 

“Moreover, the stormwater drain department of BBMP is facing a budget crunch. Unless the urban development department allocates sufficient funds, having regard to the volume of work to be undertaken to clear the stormwater drain, it is difficult to execute the work. A detailed programme will be prepared to execute the work as per schedule,” Justice Adi said.

The Upalokayukta has issued notice to the secretary of urban development department for his version on the budget allocation towards clearance of encroachments. Notices have also been issued to BMTF and additional commissioner (law and order). They have all been asked to be present before the Upalokayukta on March 3. 

A fresh complaint was filed before the Lokayukta, stating that the BBMP had been diverting the fund, around Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore every year, earmarked for clearing encroachments and streamlining drains. The complaint stated that on account of lapses on the part of the officials, the amount shown as spent towards stormwater drains is either diverted or unused.

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