They plan to protest against leasing of land along with drain

Encroachment of storm water drains and raja kaluves has become common. Though the High Court time and again tells off the civic authorities on this count, little is being done about it.

Similar seems to be the case of the major storm water drain in Marenahalli, Jayanagar 9th Block. The drain flows in survey numbers 40, 41, 42, 43 and 44 and eventually connects with the Madiwala lake. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), a planning agency no less, has leased the site (survey number 40) measuring around 2,913 sq m for 30 years to Bangalore Jetty Community Doddagaradi and Nimbajadevi Temple Trust.

Civic amenity site

S. Krishna, RTI activist and local resident, told The Hindu that the site was actually a civic amenity site under green zone as per the Comprehensive Development Plan 2015.

This meant it could only be used as a park, playground or burial ground.

“The BDA, which ironically draws up the CDP, has itself violated this and leased out the site and sanctioned a building plan. The trust has proposed to set up a hospital and community centre,” he charged.

Early documents

Mr. Krishna said the BDA first issued a possession certificate to the trust in 1992, in which it has clearly stated that there is a storm water drain at the south of the property. It then granted another possession certificate, after approving building plan, in August 2010, in which it included the drain. The latest certificate claims there is a road to the south of the property.

“Why was the drain measuring an extent of 584 sq m included in the second certificate? BDA officials colluded with the private party to encroach the drain, which is government property,” he alleged.

Mr. Krishna said on the property was the half-century-old Sri Gangamma Devi Temple for which the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had sanctioned 50 ft x 96 ft of land. “After forming Jayanagar 9th Block, the BDA handed over the layout to the BBMP, claiming that it owned the land in question. It was leased after getting an injunction order from the High Court.”

Protest plan

Local councillor C.K. Ramamurthy said as the drain has been completely blocked, the area was vulnerable to flooding. The level of road on the south is much higher than the property. “Suspecting foul play in the leasing of the land, a private complaint has been filed with the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF). The residents are also planning to stage a protest against the illegal allotment,” he said.

Meanwhile, a BDA official, on condition of anonymity, claimed the drain was of “no use.”

The official also claimed that the green belt was shifted in the CDP and the land was a civic amenity site. “These areas were originally Marenahalli lake, which has now disappeared. In 2010, the BDA cleared unauthorised constructions on this site and fenced it.”

Claiming that originally six metres had been kept aside for the drain, the official said the slab drain could be converted to a pipe drain of one or two metres. The official, however, had nothing to say when asked if this would prevent flooding.

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