Demolition of buildings on SWDs to continue: Minister

No discrimination between rich and poor, says Jayachandra

Demolition of buildings on SWDs to continue: Minister

 The state government has taken a decision to abide by the 2011 Karnataka High Court ruling and go about the demolition of structures that have come up on live stormwater drains (SWDs) in the city.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra on Wednesday told the media that ever since the demolition drive began, there has been much confusion, with a large section of the public panicking.

Appealing to Bengalureans not to panic, Jayachandra said that only those structures (including houses and apartments) that have encroached upon SWDs would be demolished. 

The BBMP, he said, had sufficient information on encroachment on SWDs and the demolition drive would be taken up only on SWDs.

The minister said confusions emerged only after the National Green Tribunal gave its order, asking Karnataka to remove encroachments within buffer zones of lakes and rajakaluves.

He maintained that the government is not razing buildings as per the recommendations of the House Committee on Lakes (also referred to as the Koliwad committee report) or the NGT order.

The government has not even taken into consideration the survey details of the 1908 and 1945 maps of the city, as civic agencies like the BBMP and BDA have redrawn maps or created layouts.

“No discrimination will be made whether it is the rich or the poor. The government has decided to give a clear message. All encroachments on live SWDs will be cleared,” he said.

He said that the government would integrate the findings of the Koliwad committee report, the NGT order and the survey details of the 1908 and 1945 maps and take a final call on clearing the encroachments.

“If we go by the NGT order and the Koliwad committee recommendations, one-third of Bengaluru city will have to go. Also, in light of the NGT order, we have to update our laws. I have spoken to Speaker K B Koliwad and clarified on the matter to him,” he added.
So far, the BBMP authorities have cleared encroachments on 29 acres, by demolishing 141 structures.

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