M.S. Janvekar’s petitions to the authorities have not yielded any result

Is it difficult to get an illegally built septic tank removed from a public park in a city?

Yes, says M.S. Janvekar, a 70-year-old retired bank employee. Even sending petitions to the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Prime Minister may not help.

Mr. Janvekar’s fight to get the illegally-built septic tank in Bijapur Urban Development Authority (BUDA) Park removed began in 2009, when it came up on the green space opposite his house in Vajra Hanuman Nagar area.

The tank has been built allegedly by a private developer. It overflows often, stinking the whole area, and becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

When he filed applications under the Right to Information Act to the city municipal council and the BUDA, it was revealed that neither of them had given permission to construct a septic tank inside the park. Pointing to the heaps of documents he has collected over the years, Mr. Janvekar asks, “When they did not give permission, why can’t they then get it removed?”. Starting with letters to the CMC Commissioner, he has written to the councillor, district Health and Family Welfare Department, Lokayukta, the local MLA, MP, Health Secretary, Environment Secretary, Chief Secretary, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, and the Prime Minister over four years.

“I also made several visits to government offices in Bangalore, including the office of the Lokayukta. Though I received replies from them saying that they have issued orders to CMC to act upon my request, the matter has not gone any further,” he says.

Not ready to give up, Mr. Janvekar has now decided to drag the CMC officials to court.

“I will send legal notice to them,” he says, undeterred.

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