Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BBMP ‘seizes’ vacant sites!

BBMP ‘seizes’ vacant sites!
Nagapura ward corporator instructs BBMP to ‘confiscate’ and clean vacant sites to check spread of chikungunya and dengue
Praveen Kumar praveen.kumar6@timesgroup.com


All you vacant site owners of Nagapura ward (67) — Mahalakshmi Layout assembly constituency— beware! Your corporator is after for you.
In a major drive, corporator S Harish has instructed BBMP officials to clean vacant sites in his ward and plant boards with the curt command: This site belongs to the BBMP.
The initiative began a few days ago after Harish’s office was flooded with calls from residents complaining about the rise in chikungunya and dengue cases in the area.
“Our helpline was flooded with these complaints and queries on how to treat the diseases,” Harish told the Bangalore Mirror.
“We then undertook a tour of the ward and found most of the victims stayed either close to or a short distance from vacant sites. These sites were being used as garbage and debris dumps while some of them were even used as public toilets. They made ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed.
“I immediately instructed the BBMP to deploy gang men to clean all these sites and to plant boards saying these sites are now the property of the BBMP. Some of these sites have not been cleaned for years,” Harish said.
Harish claims at least 70 sites in the ward have been cleaned at the expense of the BBMP.
The BBMP has a revolving fund of Rs 1 lakh and this is being utilised for the purpose, Harish said. “On my instruction, gang men, who have daily routine cleaning duties in the ward, are employed for a couple of hours on these sites. They also use the JCBs and tractors allotted to my ward.”
WHY THE BOARDS?
Harish believes the planting of boards claiming the property belongs to the BBMP would get the owners to take concrete action. “I can easily find details of the owners of the sites from the land records, but I will not do that,” he said. “The idea is to get the owners to take concrete measures to ensure their sites are clean.
“We hope to educate vacant site owners about the problems caused because of their land. Owners might feel happy to see their sites cleaned, but this is not being done for free. A penalty will be imposed on the owner.
“We have directed residents to ensure the boards we have put up are not tampered with. Owners will have to prove ownership at the BBMP office, pay the penalty and only then have use of their land. We want them to regularly clean these sites or else they would face action,” he said.
The move has pleased residents in the area. “For years we were unable to open the windows of our house because of the stench emanating from a vacant site in front of our house,” said Geetha, a resident. “Now we have some relief. I hope the BBMP continues to put pressure on the owners to ensure the site is clean,” she said.
Dase Gowda, a retired government employee, praised the BBMP for their action, while Chandrappa, another resident said he had even complained to former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy but to no avail. “I had complained during one of the Janatha Darshan sessions, when Kumaraswamy was the chief minister. But nothing was done. Now, its a big relief that the site has been cleaned,” he said.

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