Friday, May 14, 2010


With no prior notice, the civic body goes ahead and builds a road through a retired MICO employee’s corner site in Channasandra Almost all of Narendra Babu’s site near Uttarahalli is now a concrete road Babu filed an RTI plea asking which officer built road; BBMP is yet to respond

Bangalore is replete with cases where public roads have been encroached upon and illegal structures constructed. But this is perhaps the first instance where a privately-owned site has been encroached upon by the BBMP to build a road!
In 2004, Narendra Babu, a 64-year-old resident of Uttarahalli, bought a corner site measuring 990 sq feet (33x30) in Dwarka Layout in Channasandra. Due to his wife’s protracted illness and subsequent demise, he had to shelve his plans for constructing a house and in fact visited the plot rarely. So, imagine this former MICO employee’s horror when about three months ago he went to Channasandra and found a concrete road running through his site!
His first reaction was to wonder if he had come to the wrong place! “My site number is 831 and what they have done is ripped up the stone plaque with the number and just gone ahead with the construction. Look at the neighbouring plots and you’ll see the difference,” he said.
Babu filed an RTI in February asking for details of the project, to which the BBMP is yet to respond. Interestingly, Babu has never delayed, let alone defaulted, on paying tax for this property. Actually he has paid advance tax till 2011. Moreover, all documentation for the property is in perfect order.
The problem began in 2007 when a kaccha road was built by BBMP across his site. Babu had responded immediately. “From 2007 onwards, I have written six letters to BBMP about the problem. One reply was even initialled by the Assistant Engineer Parameshawar, who’s in charge of the ward, promising that the BBMP would not build anything through my site. Yet, now 25 feet of my property is a concrete road,” he said.
When Bangalore Mirror approached BBMP, the Palike was quick to shrug it off as a case of mistaken identity. “There was a kaccha road and we just built a concrete one in its place. I think there was no fencing and therefore we went ahead and built the road. Just reclaim the site with fencing and your problem is solved. We have in fact beautified and levelled the site for him,” Assistant Engineer Parameshwar, who had given it in writing that the BBMP would not build a road through Babu’s site, said.
What is ironic is that Narendra Babu is politically very well connected and has been a staunch RSS worker for the last 54 years! “Even with all my connections if this can happen to me, I can only imagine what happens to an ordinary citizen,” he said.


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