BENGALURU: The High Court on Friday set March 2 as the deadline for the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) to either clarify by when it would remove transformers erected on footpaths or prove its right to retain those transformers.
While hearing a public interest petition filed by advocate G R Mohan on non-cooperation between civic agencies causing inconvenience to the public, a division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice Ram Mohan Reddy turned down BESCOM’s request for another eight weeks to arrive at a final decision. The power utility sought the time saying it has set up a committee to look into the matter.
Referring to the directions given during the last hearing, the bench took strong exception to the reply by BESCOM’s counsel. “We are not concerned with the committee as there seems no agenda for BESCOM to remove transformers posing a threat to life. Arguing without complying with directions is nothing but a waste of the court’s time. We know how to get work done, so don’t mislead the court. We are asking for an answer and you are changing the question,” the bench said.
It said BESCOM would be fined if it “keeps wasting the court’s time”. “If you have legal right to keep the transformers on these footpaths, prove it. Else, shift all the transformers,” the bench said.
The bench did not spare the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) either, saying it is the custodian of footpaths. “How did you permit BESCOM to erect transformers on footpaths and what action has been taken to remove such transformers? What are the authorities are doing?” the bench asked.
‘Need 18 Months to Complete Survey’
The Revenue Department on Friday informed the High Court that it needs 18 months to complete the survey of lakh properties in 50 wards in Bengaluru in the first phase. Survey of properties in the remaining wards will be completed in a phased manner as part of the Urban Property Ownership Record Project, the department said.
Munish Moudgil, Commissioner, Survey, Settlement and Land Records (SSLR), informed the court that geo-referencing of five of the total 240 villages in BBMP limits is completed.
Appearing before the court in connection with a case on monitoring illegal layouts in the state, Munish said a mechanism is being put in place to share the data between the Revenue Department and BBMP, as it helps keep vigil on all properties.
He also said a mobile app developed by SSLR will allow the authorities as well as citizens to click geo-stamp photo of the properties for identifying its location. This data can be used during registration, he added.
Bar Owner Protests Police Order
The owner of a city-based bar and restaurant has approached the High Court stating that the city police are not allowing him to employ women.
Y R Manohar, owner of Brigade Garden on Brigade Road, filed the petition seeking directions to the police to allow him to hire women employees. He said the police had booked an FIR against his women employees in August last year though the establishment had been given permission by the Excise Department.
He said in December last year, the police department issued an order denying him permission though he had applied under the Public Entertainment (Bengaluru City) Order of 2013.
Justice H G Ramesh adjourned further hearing to Wednesday.