No demolitions in BDA layouts till House panel gives report

No demolitions in BDA layouts till House panel gives report

 The State Cabinet on Thursday decided to halt the demolition of houses built in BDA-formed layouts in the lake bed areas of Bengaluru till a legislature committee submits its report to the government.

The Cabinet has, however, decided to continue the demolition of commercial properties in lake bed areas.

Addressing a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said that it was decided to wait for the House Committee on lake encroachments headed by MLA K B Koliwad to submit its report to the government before taking any further decision on BDA layouts. Jayachandra said the committee will submit its report in the next 15 days.

“The Cabinet had a detailed discussion on this matter. The chief minister felt that efforts should be made to try and save the houses constructed on BDA-formed layouts. We have decided to wait for the report and then take action. However, demolition of buildings and apartments built by private builders and land grabbers will continue,” he said.

Jayachandra said that demolition of individual houses in revenue pockets would also be kept in abeyance, till all records were verified.

To a query on whether the government intended to provide rehabilitation to poor families who lost their homes, Jayachandra said the government was considering alternative housing for them.

Earlier, speaking to the media outside Vidhana Soudha, Housing Minister M H Ambareesh promised that the department would provide alternative housing for those whose homes have been demolished, under the Rajiv Gandhi Housing scheme.

It is claimed that during the discussion on the lake encroachment removal drive, Bengaluru-based ministers made an appeal to completely halt the demolition drive. Their contention was that the lake encroachment drive would prove costly for the Congress in the upcoming BBMP elections. However, Jayachandra said, “There were no such concerns raised”.

Nod for 2 special courts

TheJayachandra said the High Court had accepted the government’s proposal to set up two special courts for trial of cases related to land grabbing and lake encroachments.
He said the two special courts would be housed in Bengaluru. “All cases, including those of officials involved in abetting land encroachment, will be referred to these courts. An investigating officer will be appointed to these courts,” he said.

The government notified the formation of the Tank Development Authority for rural areas and Lake Development Authority for urban pockets on May 6.

HC extends stay on demolitions

The vacation bench of the High Court on Thursday extended the stay on the demolition of residential buildings May-end. This came after the government submitted to the court that they would not demolish any residential property on Banaswadi lake. Justice Anand Byrareddy adjourned the hearing, stating that the residents need not fear eviction. The bench said the government did not know the status of lakes.

Justice Byrareddy said irrespective of whether it is a private or government property, if the building has come up on lake bed, it must be demolished.  The government counsel had submitted that a meeting was held and a decision was taken not to demolish the buildings till June 4. Petitioners had approached the court seeking directions to stay the demolition drive.

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