BENGALURU: The anti-encroachment drive that began with great vigour across Bengaluru had sputtered to a halt a few days ago. Reason: differences between the BBMP commissioner and city Mayor. That Mayor BN Manjunath Reddy and BBMP chief Manjunath Prasad were not on the same page was evident when they voiced disparate views on the resurvey of big structures like malls and IT parks
While Reddy said that resurvey has been taken up to check violations by shopping malls, big builders and IT tech parks, Prasad maintained that he had no information of any resurvey and that his priority was to clear encroachments in vulnerable areas. Sources in the BBMP admit that this dissonance affected the demolition drive over the past few days. However, the drive is set to continue from Thursday at Avani Shringeri Nagar at Kodichikkanahalli, ground zero of the city’s July flooding.
Government sources further reveal that the CM and the BBMP commissioner were irked at the Mayor naming big malls like Orion and Gopalan without checking facts with the engineers and zonal commissioners.
However, Mayor Manjunath refuted any such rift and asserted that the resurvey of the malls and IT parks is on. “There are multiple departments involved in these big projects compared to the residential areas. Hence, we need all the departments to give us clarity and then we will work on clearing encroachments. All departments are jointly working towards it. “
Prasad maintained, “My focus and priority is to clear the encroachments on the low-lying areas. The only thing that delayed our drive was lack of surveyors to mark encroachments and nothing else.”
Questioning the reports of resurvey, former BBMP corporator N R Ramesh said, “Already, 17 surveys have been done. All they need to do is check the continuity of the storm water drain and get rid of all encroachments. He added that massive encroachments by many builders have been ignored so far. Another BJP corporator said, “Since both the Mayor and Commissioner are quite new to BBMP, there has been communication gap between the two.”