BENGALURU: Why are real estate giants who have encroached upon large tracts of storm water drains not being targeted, ask many people who have lost their homes in the ongoing demolition drive.
“BBMP is protecting the rich and private builders. They seem to have different rules for the middle class and real estate giants. It is nothing but double standards. They did not hesitate to demolish our houses without even giving us notice. In the last three-four years, there have been innumerable times when we have read reports of real estate giants and tech parks encroaching on drains. Why are they not targeted,” says Nagraja Lakkisetty (61), resident of Avani Sringeri Nagar in Bommanahalli zone.
BBMP officials have been saying that a list of encroachers will be put up on the website for a long time, but haven’t.
Interestingly, so far not a single shopping mall, IT park or apartment complex has seen any mention in the list of encroachers nor have any markings been done.
It was only one apartment, being built by Purvankara, that was marked for demolition. BBMP merely demolished a compound wall and two workmen sheds.
Sanjeev Dyamannavar, a civic activist, says, “Why are they not revealing the full list? There is a perception that only middle-class households are being targeted while powerful people are being let off. The calls for making the list of encroachers public are growing louder. However, there is a claim that if the BBMP releases the list, people might get a stay order. Others argue that this is technically not possible because the High Court has given BBMP permission for demolitions. Former Lokayukta N Santhosh Hegde had stated that BBMP should reveal the list so more people are not cheated.”
BBMP is letting people demolish houses on their own at RR Nagar, Siddaiah Road and Avani Sringeri Nagar. Earlier, BBMP spent a good amount of money on these drives.
While demolition has been stalled in Doddabommasandra due to doubts raised by the residents on the markings and survey, new markings are being made at RR Nagar and Siddaiah Road.
Yelahanka Zone Joint Commissioner Sarfaraz Khan says, “The markings are over and the survey team is supposed to submit a report to the BBMP Commissioner. Once he approves it, we will resume the drive at Doddabommasandra.”
Similarly, RR Nagar Joint Commissioner Veerabhadrappa B said, “Fresh markings are going on. We will be giving the residents a few days time to clear the encroachments on their own. If they fail to do so, we will take it up.”
At Bommanahalli, a survey will be carried out at Avani Sringeri Nagar to check the remaining encroached buildings at 3 pm on Tuesday.
“We will inspect if there are any more properties to be cleared and then in the next three-four days, we will link the storm water drain to the Madiwala lake,” said a BBMP official.
ABVP submits memorandum to Guv, seeks arrest of Amnesty officials
The members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) held a ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ rally on Monday from Maurya Circle. However, police stopped them near Freedom Park. BJP leaders B S Yeddyurappa, Jagadish Shettar, V Somanna and military veterans were part of the rally. The protesters demanded that a senior police officer submit a memorandum to the Governor, seeking arrest of representatives of Amnesty International India and handing over the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Police then took six ABVP members to Raj Bhavan in a police vehicle and allowed them to submit a memorandum. The protest affected traffic movement on Sheshadri Road, Anand Rao Circle, Race Course Road, Mysuru Bank Circle, Basaveshwara Circle, K R Circle, Gandhinagar and surrounding areas.