Government says part of the layout has been formed on the Raja Kaluve
BANGALORE: At least 16 residents of Tatanagar near Hebbal, a layout formed for employees of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.), have received show-cause notices from the State Government for encroachment on a Raja Kaluve (primary drain).
The layout was developed by the IISc. Employees House Building Cooperative Society, part of which has allegedly been formed on the Raja Kaluve that leads out of Kodigehalli lake.
The Government has come to the conclusion that it is encroachment based on survey reports and village maps, according to an order passed by the court of the Special Deputy Commissioner on August 31.
Residents, however, contest the claim that they have unauthorisedly occupied the Raja Kaluve and have obtained a stay from the Karnataka Appellate Tribunal over the Special Deputy Commissioner’s order.
“The land for this layout was acquired by the government on behalf of the cooperative society. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) released the sites in 1999. We have received approvals from all other statutory bodies,” says H.N. Vasan, Principal Research Scientist from the Solid State and Structural Chemistry Unit at the IISc. and an affected resident.
The demolition notices have been issued following a report by the Joint Commissioner of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) that a survey of Tatanagar revealed a number of encroachments, which had led to large-scale flooding during a downpour in 2005. This is part of the larger drive to identify “unauthorized encroachments/ constructions” on storm water drains and tanks for which the Government set up a high-level committee under the chairmanship of the BDA Commissioner.
Houses that need to be demolished in whole or in part have been marked with red arrows.
“According to these signs they have put up, the Raja Kaluve does not run a straight course, but has a serpentine path. It will cut across so many underground utility lines. How will they possibly do it?” asks Channe Gowda, office Superintendent at the Electrical Department in the IISc., another affected resident.
“If they do reconstruct the Raja Kaluve, we will have the drain running right in the middle of our layout. It cuts across seven roads in the layout. Should we get out of our houses through boats?” asks Dr. Vasan.
K. Sridharan, retired professor, Department of Civil Engineering at IISc., who is not one of the affected residents in his report on the drainage system at Tatanagar submitted to the authorities, says that the layout of roads, water supply and sewerage lines and storm water drainage channels have been provided in a rectilinear network. “While we do not know whether a Raja Kaluve existed before the layout was formed, they cannot reconstruct it as a meandering drain. They must work within the constraints of an urban layout,” he said.
“The effectiveness of a storm water drain is dependent on its width and slope. There is already a drain built by the society when the layout was formed. That can be widened. Besides, if they want to reconstruct the Raja Kaluve, they will have to recreate the slope because the topography now is flat,” Prof. Sridharan said.
When contacted, N. Jayaram, BBMP Joint Commissioner (Byatrayanapura zone), under whose jurisdiction Tatanagar falls, said, “The matter is in court. If they are able to substantiate their claims, we will re-examine the issue.”