QUEEN’S ROAD:The free houses promised to evicted families have been ready for a while now, but they are yet to be handed over to the beneficiaries thanks to bureaucratic inertia.
The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), which has the houses at its disposal, told City Express that two conditions need to be fulfilled before the houses are handed over. “The state government has to issue a GO (government order) asking us to hand over the houses. We also need a written order stating that the 30 acres of revenue land promised to us in exchange will be handed over,” BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhatt said.
Bhatt sent a letter specifying these conditions to the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner on July 6. “It has been more than two months since we wrote to the DC’s office. We are yet to hear anything from them or from the government,” a top BDA source said.
Bhatt’s letter was in response to a message sent by the Deputy Commissioner’s office on June 24 requesting housing for 91 individuals, including those who lost their homes during the anti-encroachment drive. The DC’s office requested housing for the families in the EWS (Economically Weaker Section) flats constructed at Alur in Bengaluru North. “We have identified the beneficiaries and have written to the BDA about it,” Deputy Commissioner V Shankar said. “There were only three houses running into 20x30 feet that were fully demolished during the Sarakki drive.” he said.
Meanwhile, 46 EWS families that have encroached up to half an acre on the Allalasandra lakebed came forward voluntarily to move out, he said. “We decided to include their names too in the list forwarded to the BDA.”
In May, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and District in-charge Minister Ramalinga Reddy promised those who lost their homes in the demolition drives that they would be provided alternative housing free of cost.