BBMP yet to remove illegal statue, residents angry

BBMP yet to remove illegal statue, residents angry

Despite a government order, the illegally installed statue in the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Park at Yelahanka New Town has not yet been removed.

Residents and two petitioners, Jagadeesh Giri and Sunder Rao, were relieved when the government had earlier this month, directed the civic agency to immediately remove the illegal Basavanna statue based on a Supreme Court order in a case related to unauthorised religious structures in public places. However, the civic agency’s inaction has irked residents, who are planning to protest against BBMP.

“According to the order, the Palike was supposed to remove the statue on April 28. Till date, no officials have visited the spot or taken steps to get it removed. Four years of our efforts have gone down the drain. The BBMP counsel, in his affidavit before the High Court of Karnataka and Appellate Tribunal, has documented that the statue is illegal and we want to know why, despite knowing it, no action has been taken so far,” said Giri, a resident and also a petitioner.

The five-foot statue was installed overnight in 2012 by Veerashaiva Sri Eshwara Seva Samithi, according to residents.  “The Palike has violated the Supreme Court order and also the Karnataka Parks, Play-fields and Open Spaces (KMC preservation and regulation) Act, 1985. Earlier I used to visit the park, but now I have stopped. Slowly, even parks are getting encroached and eyed upon by private parties,” said another resident, Mukunda SK.

Yelahanka MLA SR Vishwanath, when contacted, said that since the issue is sensitive, the Palike has sought some more time to sort out the problem and remove the statue.

BBMP commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said the problem has not come into his notice as he had taken over recently. He however added: “When there is a government order, it is our duty to obey and follow their directions. I will look into the order and take appropriate action.”

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