Tuesday, July 18, 2006

41 buildings on hit list

41 buildings on hit list
The Times of India

Bangalore: It’s one hit list that could possibly iron out part of Bangalore’s civic woes. And if the authorities concerned are serious about implementing their latest findings, the coming weeks will see a slew of demolitions across the city.

A survey carried out by the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) marked 41 buildings for immediate demolition. For, explain officials, these buildings are prima facie encroachments blocking the free flow of water. And these 41 buildings are just from RT Nagar alone.

Officials say that of the 252-km long drains in Bangalore, at least 70 per cent have been encroached upon.

The immediate demolitions are to facilitate smooth flow of rain and drain water to Hebbal Valley which is the nerve centre for north Bangalore. The stretch of encroachments extend from Yogeshnagar after Ring Road to Anandnagar and Sultanpalya.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, say officials. “There are many more demolitions we have to undertake. It’s been continuing for so many years that it has been taken for granted. But we want to take the legal course, like we did at Jakkasandra a few months ago,’’ they explain.

BMP engineers are, understandably wary of divulging the exact locations of the planned demolitions because people obtain stay orders from the Court.
Explains BMP commissioner K Jairaj who apparently told his teams not to hesitate when it comes to demolishing anything that obstructs the free flow of water. “There are many buildings constructed bang in the middle of the drain. At times, they even use the retaining wall. They’re dangerous for the rest of the city. How long can it be tolerated and how long can we rely on alternatives?’’ asks the commissioner.

“But we’re aware that many of the structures have been constructed by gullible families from low income groups. So we will demolish those buildings which pose as a severe threat.’’

Apart from blatant encroachments, drains are also too narrow and any extension would entail more demolitions.

In the end, it’s a situation where one drain wall is someone else’s drawing room wall. The mouth of another drain could well be an another person’s kitchen cabinet.
HAMMER EFFECT
l All marked buildings are from RT Nagar alone.
l All 41 buildings are encroachments blocking free flow of water.
l Immediate demolitions to facilitate smooth flow of rain and drain water to Hebbal Valley, which is the nerve centre for north Bangalore

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