BENGALURU: As many as 244 public roads have come up on storm water drains, says BBMP.
Scores of public roads face the threat of demolition as three fourths of encroachments on storm water drains, municipal authorities say , are either public roads, farmlands or vacant sites.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) tally of encroachments on drains now stands at 1,570, up from 1,101 cases the civic body had earlier identified. Of these, 244 are public roads while 935 are agricultural lands or vacant sites.
Most of these encroaching roads, the BBMP says, are in the IT belt of Mahadevapura and Yelahanka in north Bengaluru. The list also includes Konanakunte Road in south Bengaluru which, along with five homes, a commercial complex and two sheds in Anjanapura -has encroached a drain.
“Everything will be cleared,” Municipal Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad told ET. “It could be that one survey number has a road and a plot together. The drain can be reclaimed only when all the encroachments are cleared.”
The new statistics on encroachment are based on approved survey maps conducted by the joint director of land records in the revenue department. “We are updating encroachment figures as and when we get them from the revenue department,” Prasad said, indicating that the number could go up in the coming days.
In Koti Hosahalli at Vidyaranyapura, asphalt roads were laid “by closing existing storm water drains,” according to information made public by the civic body .
“This is overzealousness of the BBMP,” former minister S Suresh Kumar said. “If there is a road on a drain, who built it? Ultimately , the common man will suffer. Authorities should look at alternatives than demolishing everything,” he said, calling the demolition drive an “anti-citizen movement.”
Data indicate that as many as 35 commercial-industrial establishments have encroached drains. These are mostly multi-storeyed commercial complexes and factories. Interestingly , at least three commercial buildings -two on JC Road and one on Lalbagh Road -are owned by the BBMP .
“The most desired option for the BBMP is to derail the anti-encroachment drive by showing roads. We shouldn’t let that happen,” Namma Bengaluru Foundation CEO Sridhar Pabbisetty said. While authorities should treat roads separately , commercial-industrial outlets should face action at the earliest, he said.
The demolition drive, which began early August, has been stalled for want of surveyors. “I’ve asked the revenue department to call back surveyors deputed or transferred to other districts. We need them to mark properties and tell us the extent of encroachment,” Prasad said.
Credits ET Realty