Saturday, October 29, 2005

Encroachments pose problems in B’lore suburbs

Encroachments pose problems in B’lore suburbs
Deccan Herald

Encroachments and dumping of debris in storm water drains! Not in one area, but in several areas adjoining the storm water drain leading to the Vrishabhavati valley, there has been rampant encroachment and dumping of debris blocking the flow of water.

Around 20 to 30 houses, which have been constructed close to the storm water drain in Chandranagar, a low-lying area near Kamalanagar, have either collapsed or suffered damage during the rains, which lashed the City. A visit to areas adjoining the drain at Chandranagar revealed the extent of encroachment and dumping of debris. Who is to be blamed? Residents of the area said that the government needs to fix responsibility on those who have connived to cheat people by asking them to construct houses encroaching drains.

“We constructed our house close to the drain a decade ago. None objected when we constructed the house then,” said Shekar, a manual labourer, whose house was damaged in the heavy rains that lashed the City last week. “We cannot move out of this area now,” he said. Not only Shekar, several others now want the Mahanagara Palike to construct a retaining wall along the drain to prevent flooding of the area.

Apart from Chandranagar, there has been rampant encroachment and dumping of debris in several other areas along the drain leading to Vrishabhavati valley. “We are willing to shift to an alternate place, if the government provides us land,” Sumathi another resident of Chandranagar said.

But is the government willing? With rains pounding the City, the government has chalked out a plan to clear encroachments. “It’s a long-term plan. We want to clear the encroachments,” Bangalore Urban District In-charge Minister R Ramalinga Reddy said. Will the government’s plan to clear encroachments succeed? Only time will tell.

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