The drive to remove encroachments on Raja Kaluve across the city by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike continued on Thursday. The BBMP took up the demolition drive in Ittamadu (ward number 55) amid protest by residents.
Several houses that had come up on the Raja Kaluve there were demolished during the drive while some property owners lost a portion of their property.
There were allegations that the BBMP did not issue notices to the property owners before demolition was taken up. Residents also said that they were taken by surprise. However, the residents said that the BBMP had marked their property about a fortnight ago, apparently for demolition.
“We have khata and have been paying tax for our property. These properties have sanctioned plans, and despite these documents, our property were demolished,” said a resident, Chandrashekar, who lost a large portion of his property.
He also quoted other residents as saying that they had apprised the Lokayukta of the situation there. He said that the Lokayukta had asked these residents to meet him with the relevant documents.
Shankar, another resident, said that many owners had availed themselves of loans to construct houses there, and that they would be in trouble due to the demolition of their property.
Meanwhile, property owners who are likely to lose their buildings in the days to come started salvaging whatever they could before the BBMP takes up demolition. They removed iron grills, steel staircase, window and door frames on Thursday.
Though some residents charged the BBMP with going slow on an encroachment by an apartment complex on Ittamadu 1st Main, officials refuted the allegations.
“We will recover the 20-ft encroachment by the apartment in a couple of days,” a senior BBMP engineer said even as the apartment residents claimed that they had a map prepared by the BBMP showing that their building had not encroached upon the Raja Kaluve.
“We are even ready to offer an alternative space for the Raja Kaluve by which demolition of the building can be prevented,” a resident of the apartment said.
Chief Engineer (South Zone) Anantha Swamy has, in a press release, said that 350 metres of the Raja Kaluve had been encroached upon by 46 houses in Ittamadu.
He said that these properties had been identified during a survey of the kaluve. On Thursday, 10 houses were demolished.
All the 46 houses would be brought down, the release said.