BENGALURU: A head of the upcoming High Court hearing, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad on Wednesday ordered civic body officials to take up a survey of all unauthorised religious buildings in the city and submit a report within three days.At a meeting with all engineers and ward officials, Prasad said that there are many unauthorised religious structures on public spaces like roads, parks, government lands and play grounds.
“Where all a temple, church, mosque, gurudwara or any other religious building has encroached on government land, these needs to be identified and a report must be submitted,” he added. He also directed the officials to prepare a list of all such encroached places, which should include all those constructed even before 2009, while pointing out as there is a High Court hearing on January 28, he should have the report on January 27. “No officer should take this lightly as the details need to be submitted to the court. There should be no laxity. The details should be accurate and officials should get an explanation within a week on the presence of sites,” Prasad said.
After submitting the details to the court, protection from the police will also be taken to demolish unauthorised structures, he assured his staffers. Referring to the Supreme Court order of September 29, 2009, Prasad said the apex court had stated that no unauthorised religious structures can be constructed in public places. Following this, the High Court has sought for information.
The Commissioner’s order has made the officials pull up their socks as this is the first time that they will have to undertake such a survey and issue notices. A BBMP official said, “Some of these religious structures and institutions have the support of eminent people and politicians. Also the matter needs to be dealt with sensitively as religious sentiments are involved. The matter will be conveyed to the Commissioner and to the government to look into it.”