'Encroachers of storm water drains won’t be spared'

Published: 04th August 2016 06:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th August 2016 06:44 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Following the recent flooding in parts of the city, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said his government is determined to act against encroachers and also officials who allowed illegal constructions on storm water drains and lake areas.

After holding a review meeting with BBMP officials on Wednesday, the CM said that after five decades, the city witnessed the highest rainfall in the last week of July.

Water gushed into over 600 houses. “It was 250 mm rain in one week, which otherwise, on an average, is 118 mm. At least six to seven lakes in Bengaluru South, which are inter-linked, were flooded. BBMP has taken up relief work.

It is clear that encroachment of storm water drains and lakes caused flooding,” he said.  There are houses and other constructions on storm water drains, he said.

“Some even went to court and got stay orders. As per BBMP officials’ data, there were 1,923 encroachments of which 822 were cleared. In the remaining 1,101 encroachments, some cases are in the court. We will have a senior advocate who will not just get the stay order vacated, but also file caveat for other cases, if necessary,” he said.

“Under emergency grants, `140 crore will be released to BBMP to take up preventive measures in (flood-) affected areas.”

The chief minister also directed the Forest Department not to create any hindrance during removal of encroachments and desilting of lakes and drains.

Referring to certain areas like Anugraha Layout, DEO Layout and Akshaynagar on Bannerghatta Road, Siddaramaiah said there are illegal constructions in lake-bed areas in these localities. This clearly shows BBMP and other officials are involved who have issued licences.

“I have asked the Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) to probe this and submit a report within three days. Action will be taken against officials who issued licences. I also have the Bengaluru Development Minister portfolio and I will not spare them,” he warned.

Siddaramaiah said short-term measures to prevent flooding, maintaining sanitation, pumping water and other issues have been taken care of.

On long-term measures, he said the civic agencies are cleaning storm water drains and also focusing on removing encroachments and demolishing illegal buildings near lakes and drains.

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