BENGALURU: With chief minister Siddaramaiah directing the BBMP to resume the demolition drive, the officials concerned are chalking out plans to conduct the exercise as early as possible. Sources said since they have already marked about 250 properties which sit on storm water drains (SWDs), they will focus on them to begin with. “Most of the structures are located in north and east Bengaluru. Bulldozers are likely to take position by the weekend or next week,” said an official.
The demolition drive which began with much vigour in August lost steam by October due to the lack of coordination between the BBMP and the revenue department. While the Palike blamed the revenue department for not supplying the required number of surveyors to map the encroached drains, the latter cited helplessness by saying its own work was getting affected. Though the number of encroachments is massive, the BBMP has cleared only 248 properties, comprising 130 buildings and 115 vacant sites.
“With the chief minister keen on continuing the drive, we are hopeful of getting surveyors from the revenue department. We need 40 surveyors but even if they can provide 20, we can restart the operation. We are hopeful of removing all the encroachments by February 2017,” said an official from BBMP’s SWD wing.
Initially, the BBMP brought down structures in Bommanahalli, Mahadevapura, Yelahanka and Rajarajeshwari Nagar zones. But in September, the ill-prepared civic body faced stiff opposition from citizens over survey maps and its alleged bias towards biggies. This was because actor Darshan Thoogudeep and former minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa were given ample time to respond to notices while the houses of commoners were bulldozed in no time. Even in the case of malls and big commercial establishments, a resurvey was ordered.
The BBMP had identified 1,923 encroachments on SWDs, of which it cleared 822 before August. Bengaluru has an SWD network of 840km.
Land worth Rs 4 crore recovered
BBMP officials have recovered encroached land worth Rs 4 crore in Doddabettahalli and Chikkabettahalli villages in Yelahanka zone. The 2.28 acres have been fenced to stop further encroachments. In Chikkabettahalli village limits alone, 2.2 acres of land (remaining 8 guntas in Doddabettahalli) had been encroached upon by Umran Developers, who had erected compound and sheds on the parcel. The Palike has served the company a notice on November 22 but to no avail. Officials cleared the illegal structures on on Thursday.
Credits ET Realty