Damaged homes, broken hearts and an uncertain future

With no roof over their heads, hundreds spend sleepless nights in their houses, which they have somehow managed to patch up

Published: 09th August 2016 04:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2016 04:21 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) encroachment removal drive continued on Monday amid protests by the residents. The police had to even resort to a mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd in Mahadevapura.

Hundreds of residents are now spending sleepless nights while they continue to live in their damaged houses in Bommanahalli, Mahadevapura and Yelahanka. With no roof on their heads, people were seen patching up their houses with plastic covers and debris.

One such resident is Pradeep Rao, a senior citizen who lost his house at Avani Sringeri near Bannerghatta Road.

“For the past two to three days, my wife, son and I have been sleeping in whatever is left of our house. We sent some of the expensive items to a relative’s place. Two rooms and the hall are gone. We are sleeping in the passage. Our kitchen, too, is partially gone and we are unable to cook. We have been buying every meal and even water from outside,” he said.

“We had given the first floor for lease, which has been demolished. The tenants have vacated and they are now demanding the `1.5 lakh they had paid as advance. We don’t know what to do,” Pradeep added.

His son Dileep has not gone to work since. “My wife and I are expecting our first child. We have sent her to my in-laws’ house,” he said. “JCBs and other machinery have broken the nearby stormwater drains. As a result, the area is waterlogged. It is a terrible situation to be in with aged parents and a pregnant wife. We are helpless,” he said.

Here, residents do the demolition

At Akshaya Nagar in Bommanahalli zone, residents took it upon themselves to demolish the encroachments. Reason: They say they do it better than the BBMP.

“If they (BBMP authorities) demolish buildings, they do it mercilessly and damage other walls too. We asked the officials to mark the encroached area and said that we would do it ourselves,” said a  resident who did not wish to be named. He added that he had taken a loan for his house which is yet to be paid.

Chandrashekar (name changed), who resides near Kasavanahalli Lake at Mahadevapura, said one of his two rooms is completely demolished. “We have dumped everything in one room. My family and I are staying at my sister’s place. But how many days can we stay there,” he asked.

He too had taken a home loan and is still paying the EMI. “Now, I have to take a house on rent and pay the EMI as well. I don’t know how I will live. We have been paying property tax all these years. We did check with a lawyer before buying the property. We bought it only after he said that the papers were in order,” he said.

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