Home losers threaten suicide if govt doesn't compensate them

'Spent all our savings to build houses, and they now lie in rubble'

Home losers threaten suicide if govt doesn't compensate them

Residents of Avani Sringeri Nagar, where dozens of homes were razed in the BBMP’s drive against encroachments on stormwater drains, have threatened suicide if they are not adequately compensated.

A delegation of BJP legislators and corporators visited the southeast Bengaluru locality on Monday, and residents’ anger was palpable. They demanded why their homes were targeted when big builders were spared.

Sexagenarian S V Anantha Padmanabha, half of whose house has been razed, said he had spent all his savings on constructing it. “I took a big home loan from HDFC Bank for which I am paying an EMI of Rs 48,000. The demolition has left no room for renovation. I do not have any other property. The government should compensate me or I will end my life,” he said.

L Josna, whose house has been razed to the ground, narrated a similar tale. “I’ve become homeless and am staying at the house of my relative but how long can I stay there?”

Uma S Murthy, who hails from Mumbai, was lucky that she didn’t construct the house on a site she bought 20 years for Rs 1.5 lakh. She had paid an equal amount as betterment charges. “Rs 3 lakh was a big sum 20 years ago. We somehow managed to buy this property. Half of my site is gone as the BBMP has dug up a drain there,” she complained.

Most of the residents in the locality do not have ‘A’ Khata as it is a revenue pocket. Only those who paid betterment charges got ‘A’ Khata. The BBMP apparently sanctioned the building plan without verifying the revenue record or bothering to tell the residents that a stormwater drain criss-crosses the locality. Today, the whole area resembles an earthquake zone.

With encroachments cleared, the BBMP is now constructing a concrete drain that will lead to demolition of more buildings in the coming days.  Tears in their eyes, residents pleaded to the BJP delegation comprising MLAs R Ashoka, S Suresh Kumar, C N Ashwath Narayana, M Sathish Reddy and corporators, to bail them out of the crisis and provide an alternative. The BJP leaders was unanimous in denouncing the demolition drive.

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