The BJP on Monday claimed that more than 150 residential houses were razed illegally in a controversial demolition drive conducted near Sarakki, Puttenahalli and Jaraganahalli lakes in Bengaluru recently.
Addressing reporters, party leader S Suresh Kumar contended Law Minister T B Jayachandra’s statement that only three houses were demolished. “I have visited these places and collected documents from the affected people. More than 150 small houses have been demolished,” he added.
The BJP leader released a list of 64 affected persons, addresses and age of their houses that were demolished and the site dimension. Some of the affected persons were also present in the press conference. Suresh Kumar said he will send a copy of the list and all the documents to the Law Minister.
He claimed that the demolition was illegal. The Forest Department had in 2001 identified the boundary of Sarakki, Puttenahalli and Jaraganahalli lakes and fenced them. Later in April 2013, the Revenue Department had conducted a survey of these lakes and identified a total of 2.31 acres of encroachment – Jaraganahalli 1.4 acres, Puttenahalli 27 gunta and Sarakki 40 gunta.
Houses demolished in the recent drive were not located on the encroached lake lands. Still they were demolished by the Bengaluru Urban district administration citing some satellite survey done recently. These houses were A khata properties with proper building plan approvals and land use conversion orders, he said.
“The State government is clueless about what it has been doing. It demolished houses as it was under pressure from court. It seems to have now realised its mistake. Hence, the Law Minister has been trying to cover it up by claiming that only three residential houses were brought down. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has started touring the city with an eye on BBMP polls, should visit these places along with Jayachandra to know the factual situation,” he added.
Suresh Kumar demanded that the government should order a high-level probe by a retired judge into the demolition drive to bring out the truth. The government should take steps to re-build the demolished houses. The BJP will explore the possibility of approaching the court in order to provide justice to the affected people, he added.
Asked about accusation by freedom fighter H S Doreswamy that land grabbers have bribed the second-rung BJP leaders, he said Doreswamy should disclose names of the leaders who have been bribed.