Owner of Ejipura building got eviction notice 3 weeks ago

BBMP cited rain to ask him to vacate the place but he delayed

Owner of Ejipura building got eviction notice 3 weeks ago
The owner of the two-storey building in east-central Bengaluru that collapsed early on Monday morning, killing seven people, was served an eviction notice by the BBMP as recently as on September 25.

S Gunesh, who was arrested on Tuesday for criminal negligence, had received the eviction notice on September 25. The property, at 9th Cross, Gundappa Gowda Layout, Ejipura, is in the name of Ganesh’s deceased father, Somesh. The former got it as his share of the ancestral property.

“We have been inspecting ward number 148 (Ejipura) every day. Your (Somesh’s) property was built around 20-25 years ago and since it has been raining continuously, there is a possibility that the building may collapse. There is also a possibility of damage to adjacent homes. In order to avert the damage, it’s better to shift to another place and protect the residents. If you fail to do so, and if there is any damage, you will be held accountable and the BBMP will not be responsible,” said the notice in Kannada.

After Somesh’s death, the properties were divided among his children. This building went to Gunesh, but the title has not yet been transferred to him. The BBMP issued the eviction notice on the basis of existing documents which are in his father’s name, an official said.

Gunesh himself received the notice and even signed an acknowledgement. He, however, failed to take steps to vacate the place. The tragedy happened because of his “negligence”, the official said and added that he would be prosecuted.

Neighbours leave

People living in neighbouring homes are shifting to new places as a precaution. “Due to the collapse of the building, there are cracks in our house. My husband was petrified hearing the loud noise. We are moving to another place since as we are scared to death,” Nandini, a neighbour, said.

Yogananda and his wife Pushpa who live right next to the building were so terrified that they spent the night near a bakery.

Jayamma, another resident, wants to vacate her house but says the landlord was not returning the security deposit. “If officials help us get our money back, we will look for another place,” she said.

Mary lived in the ill-fated building until about four months ago. “I could see that the building would crumble anytime. The owner didn’t do anything even after being informed of the danger,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) inspected the place on Tuesday since there is speculation that the building collapsed after a gas cylinder exploded.

An IOC official told journalists: “At first sight, the building seems to have crumbled following a cylinder blast. But we can arrive at a conclusion only after closely examining the evidence collected so far.”
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