To send a strong message to people who violate building bylaws with impunity, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is taking up a drive to demolish under-construction buildings which do not comply with the norms.
BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana ordered the demolition of the buildings. Even a community hall in Kengeri, which had partially collapsed on August 5 killing three workers, will be demolished.
“By suspending officials and demolishing such buildings, we are trying to instil fear among those who do not comply with the norms,” Lakshminarayana told Express.
Assistant Engineers Santosh and Panchakshari, who were working at Siddapura ward where the building is located, were suspended from service pending inquiry.The building had three floors which were illegally constructed.
“Demolition of illegal buildings is a signal to the builders who are trying to construct extra floors without taking permission (from the BBMP). The Zonal Commissioner, Chief Engineers, Executive Engineers to Assistant Engineers, all should check it.”
He said the building was constructed by Saleem, a builder. He normally takes vacant sites and construct apartment complexes. The builder had taken permission to construct an apartment complex with basement, ground floor and two more floors. But he had constructed three more floors without taking permission, he said.
The BBMP authorities also found that the builder has two more buildings in the same lane. Of the two, the violation was similar to the building that collapsed in one and in another, a floor was constructed without permission, Lakshminarayana said.
Residents Dread Demolition
Most of the houses at Someshwara Layout are packed together with hardly any space between them. When the apartment block collapsed on Monday, a sheet roofed house next to it had boulders falling on to their roof. Pointing to the debris in her compound wall, Poornima, a resident, asked, “Tomorrow, if my house is the first one to go, where do I have to go?”
The residents in these houses refused to even go out of their homes. “We can move out now. Where are we to sleep the night? Even if we stay a few days in a relatives home, for how many days do we have to stay there?” asked Manjula, whose house would also be affected by the demolishing. Most of the houses that will be affected belong to the low income groups BBMP plans to demolish the apartment blocks on Tuesday morning.