BILEKAHALLI: A builder, who is giving the finishing touches to a mammoth residential complex in Bilekahalli (off Bannerghatta Road), and the property owner are now in the eye of a storm. Reason: the residents of J P Nagar plan to sue them for diverting the area’s raja kaluve (storm water drain) and constructing a pathway on it.
The JP Nagar 4th Phase Dollars Layout Residents’ Welfare Association, on December 7, filed a contempt petition against the BBMP Commissioner in the High Court, which was dismissed immediately. The association now plans to take legal recourse to bring the owner and builder to book.
Vaishnavi Infrastructure Pvt Ltd has almost completed the multi-storeyed Vaishnavi Terrace with 250 houses. Most of the apartments have been sold and the new owners are likely to move in soon.
The tussle between the residents and the property owners has been going on for some years but it is all set to reach a climax soon. Bavadeep Reddy, owner of the property spread across 4.5 acres, told Express that he had diverted and constructed the drain by spending `1.3 crores in 2006-2007.
“The BDA had constructed the drain and abandoned it midway. Water started flowing into my property. The then BBMP engineer gave us permission to divert the drain,” he said.
“The same residents had congratulated me for the work done. What is the issue now? When the office bearers of the association change, their stand changes,” he said.
When asked why he took on a job a civic agency was meant to do, Reddy said, “It was unhygienic. The drain was open and was a breeding ground for mosquitoes. I could not bear the stench and it was affecting my property. So, I got the job done.”
When asked about the construction on the drain, he claimed he had done it in the interest of the residents of the area, so that they could walk up to Bannerghatta Road using the footpath.
The property owner also charged the association of having “a hidden grouse.” “They are upset that once the apartments are occupied, the area may become crowded. They are really worried that the 250 families could each have a car,” he said.
“They had asked me earlier to ensure that the apartment owners do not use the 4th Cross near it and take the circuitous route through Bannerghatta Main Road. We refused to give any such instructions and so they are harassing us now,” he charged.
K R Shoban Babu, liaison officer for Vaishnavi Terrace, visited Express with four files of documents to show that the property was legally bought and he had all the consent papers required for its construction.
A top official of the builder’s group said, “The Dollars Layout itself is illegal since it has come up on what was a lake once.”
Association secretary A Gunda Bhat denied all the allegations. “What has been done is a very serious offence. A property owner has diverted a stormwater drain in the interests of his property and even laid a footpath over it.”
Bhat said that the struggle against the owner, builder and the civic agencies had been long-drawn. “We had filed a case in the High Court in 2014 against the builder and civic agencies but the court asked us to first petition the civic authorities,” he added.
The association’s lawyer, who did not want to be named, said, “After the court’s directions, we petitioned the BBMP and they had given an undertaking that the issue would be looked into. But they did not do anything. So we had to file a contempt petition against them on December 7.”
“The court dismissed our petition saying the BBMP had only given an undertaking and there was no order. So, there has been no contempt,” the lawyer explained.