Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Partial demolition?

Partial demolition?


The ‘controversial’ Terrace Garden Apartment/Aniruddha Chowdhury.

Express News Service/Sharan PoovannaFirst Published : 25 Nov 2009 04:54:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 25 Nov 2009 07:51:46 AM IST
BANGALORE: The BBMP seems to be hell bent on driving away all encroachers.
The anti-encroachment drive by the BBMP started in the Mahalakshmi Layout on Tuesday.
The BBMP started razing down illegal structures at the Vijayanandanagar slum of Mahalakshmi layout.
The area was flooded during the recent rains and the CM BS Yeddyurappa and BBMP officials who inspected the slum after the incident had directed the officials for the clearance of encroached properties in the area which had caused flooding in and around the locality.
“With the directions from the Chief Minister, the BBMP conducted a survey and had identified about 12 houses that were constructed encroaching upon the storm water drain,” said a senior BBMP official.
The drive which started on Tuesday morning continued till late evening and the encroached properties were partially demolishedd.
“While a few houses and a 3-km-long wall constructed on the drain was completely demolished, other properties were partially razed,” said the official.
“There are other houses that are encroaching upon the drain but before we take action, we have to check the records. The drive will continue for the next few days,” he said.
Chandrashekar had thought that his home dreams were realised when he got an approval to build a house in 2002. Three years later, his three-storeyed house was built at Idematu, and he moved in with his family. However, on Saturday, his house came under the BBMP JCBs.
His wife and two children have moved into a rented house in the same area after this incident.
Chandrashekar says that he has paid betterment tax and other property taxes after his property was surveyed many times over the years. He claims that he was not once given any notice or intimation that his property was encroaching on the drain by either the visiting inspectors or any other official from the housing authorities.
The people of the locality sought the help of ministers and other officials to get the exact plans of demolition but it was all in vain, they said. “We even voluntarily offered to demolish part of our homes to make way for the drain but the BBMP engineer dismissed our pleas,”said one of the residents. He added that more than 300 police personnel were brought to this locality and people were threatened with lathi charge by the engineer. “And when the demolition began, we requested the authorities to give us an hour to clear our things but to no avail,” he adds. “They did not allow our children to finish their food even. They sent their men to start demolishing while we, with the help of the other residents, threw home appliances and furntiture from higher floors,” he says.
Preferential treatment
Residents of Idematu also claim that the BBMP was giving preferntial treatment to the residents of Terrace Garden, an apartment complex in the locality, as that building still stands. When the locals asked the authorities about this partiality the officers warned the residents to mind their business and added that they did not have the equipment to break down part of the apartment.
The drain breaks many houses on the way, a government school and even a temple that is allegedly on BBMP land. The residents are wondering why their homes were approved when the officials could have informed them about the encroachments. Bharath Lal Meena said that the builders and other officials from the corporation who have approved them will be brought to task after the investigations.

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