BANGALORE: Three thousand families residing in economically weaker section (EWS) quarters located at Viveknagar are protesting against the recent government order to give away their allotted plot to a private company under a land sharing scheme.
The residents launched a protest meeting on Tuesday evening demanding for quashing of the order and rebuilding of their houses under various government schemes for the economically weaker sections. The affected families have been living in tin sheds on this land for over 18 years .
More than 3,000 families reside in the EWS housing quarters but only 1,642 will be given space as per the new order. Under the land sharing scheme, 1,640 houses will be built on a plot of 15.64 acres. Hence, the affected people demanded that proper houses should be built for all the families and that they were definitely not prepared to part with their property with any private company. The agreement signed with the government permits the private company to commercially exploit an area of 7.82 acres.
The members of Dalit Minorities and Land Protection Committee who were in the forefront of this protest meeting said that this order was anti-people and anti-Dalit. In 2003, one of the building blocks collapsed, again in 2007 another two blocks collapsed resulting in the death of three persons.
M R Prabhakar, one of the members of the committee said, “My question to the government is why didn’t the authorities take action against the corrupt officials, instead of forcing the families to stay in tin shed houses and that too in the most inhumane conditions. Will the elected MLAs stay in
such tin sheds? ”
The members further pointed out that there are various ways available for the government to rebuild houses instead of seeking help from a private company. Money for building the houses can be mobilised from Rajiv Awas Yojana, Basic Services for Urban Poor and the 22.75 per cent Special Component Plan for SC/ST communities. Prabhakar said, “We have discussed this issue with Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda but he said it is a matter where he has no say since the government
The residents as well as the members of Dalit Minorities and Land Protection Committee have decided to intensify their agitation in the event of the government not agreeing with
When City Express contacted BBMP Commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda, he said: “When the government has allocated the land, we have no space for any action. The BBMP will go as per the orders of the government.”