Nineteen properties on SWDs to be demolished in Bengaluru

It’s almost a week since heavy rains ravaged the IT city putting South Bengalureans in deep water literally and figuratively. On 30th July, 200 families of the 500 in Kodichikkanahalli waded through the flooded homes and roads to get to higher ground. The last 2 days, the Karnataka government decided to test the waters and find a root cause analysis.

The rajakaluve that starts from Bilekahalli travels through 3 kms to finally land in Madiwala lake – the one that burst on that fateful day a week ago. The BBMP surveyed 800 m to find 19 properties that were constructed right on the main canal. “The CM has asked us to identify these properties and immediately demolish them. These buildings are those that have encroached upon the land over the drains. The officials and the citizens must know there is a law of the land,” said Manjunath Prasad, BBMP Commissioner.

Pradeep Baliga, a resident of Kodichikkanahalli since 2000, holds a document signed by then joint commissioner that sanctions the plan stating that the rajakaluve comes in front of the house. “The team that did the survey now tells us that it passes right in between our house. I will file a case against that commissioner who sanctioned then, if they demolish my building,” he said.

“How did these officials of the municipal bodies sanction plans? Those who did it will be taken to task. Criminal cases will be filed against them for such wrongful sanctions,” said Suneel Kumar, Head, Bengaluru Agenda Task Force (BATF).

The bull-dozer charged ahead breaking every brick to pieces and the buildings came crashing down revealing the drain underneath. Pradeep Rao, took 6 years to save, plan and build his 2-storey home. However, today he is on the streets with his family. “I sold a BDA land to build the first storey in 2001 here and took a loan to build the second storey. Now I am still continuing to repay my loan. I am on the streets. My shop adjacent to it is also gone. Now who will help?” he said.

The issue of compensation was conveniently dodged. “The compensation is a different issue. We will first demolish the part which falls under 2.5 feet near the Rajakaluve,” Manjunath Prasad said. 2000 Rajakaluves line the entire city.

Will this drive be a momentary action for questions raised on infrastructure or will it be maintained till the end?

Credits India Today

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