Clear encroachments on storm water drains: Govt to officials

Clear encroachments on storm water drains: Govt to officials

Clear encroachments on storm water drains: Govt to officials

Karnataka government today directed its officials to clear encroachments on storm water drains on priority basis even as it asserted there will be no discrimination between the rich and the poor in its clearance drive.

"Encroachments that are obstructing storm water drains,  live drain, and causing flooding, they should be removed first, that's the direction that we have given," Law and  Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters  here after the Cabinet meeting.

Stating that clearing of "unauthorised" constructions on the storm water drains was taken up based on the judgement of the High Court, he said, "the judgement is only to remove the unauthorised constructions on the drains not on the periphery or something like that.

He said there are incidents where false documents have been procured to help encroachment and illegal  constructions on the storm water drains.

Incessant rains earlier this month had inundated streets, crippling normal life in several parts of the city, forcing government and civic authorities to swing into action and taking up storm water drain clearance drive.

Following the Chief Minister's order, the city civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had begun the demolition drive in several parts of the city, including Avani Sringeri Nagar in Bommanahalli, Kasavanahalli in Mahadevapura and Shivanahalli in Yelahanka.

Jayachandra said there was no question of sparing anyone or discriminating between the rich and the poor in the encroachment clearance drive.

"There is no question of sparing any one; we will not spare anybody whether it is multi-storied or apartment owner or anybody," he said.

Pointing out that attempts were being made by the rich to approach courts and get some court orders, the Minister said, "We are taking care of it."

Several individuals and organisations have accused BBMP of targeting only small property owners and not big builders or malls which have also allegedly encroached upon storm water drains.

Hearing a petition accusing alleged encroachment of  storm-water drains by two malls and a five-star hotel, High  Court on Monday had directed the BBMP commissioner to examine  the allegations and take appropriate decision within three  months.

Responding to a specific question on action against some well known malls and others, he said, "There is no question of sparing anyone...."

Admitting that there was lack of proper coordination  between departments concerned, Jayachandra said confusion has been created among the people with no proper communication, resulting in creating panic among them.

"It has been clearly instructed to the officials to  demolish constructions on live storm water drains, and they  have been directed not to touch properties with approval   from government agencies where water valley has shifted. Measures should be taken to avoid flooding due to encroachment of storm water drains," he said.

Stating that encroachments in about 29.8 acres had come to the notice of BBMP, he said so far 141 houses had been demolished. 

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