Chitra V. Ramani
Bangalore: Although the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s demolition drive against encroachments on storm water drains may have been halted for the time being, the BBMP is mapping the encroachments to build its case before the High Court.
As of November this year, the BBMP cleared encroachments on 53,183.3 sq. ft. of storm water drains and raja kaluves in the city.
The civic authority’s drive, which courted controversy, was stayed by the High Court on November 25 after a petition filed by the former Mayor P.R. Ramesh said the BBMP had rendered many homeless.
Mr. Ramesh had challenged provisions of Section 288-D of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act 1976, which empowers the civic authority’s Commissioner to remove encroachments blocking drains without issuing any notice to the encroachers.
Mr. Ramesh maintained that BBMP officials were responsible for the encroachments.
A senior BBMP official said that by demolishing encroachments on 53,183.3 sq ft of storm water drains and raja kaluves, the civic authority had been able to recover property estimated at Rs. 15.59 crore. Several other encroachments on storm water drains in many parts of the city had been located.
“The High Court has directed the BBMP to undertake a survey of the storm water drains. At present, surveyors are mapping the encroachments. Once the exercise is completed, the records will be submitted to the High Court,” the official said and added that the demolition drive would be taken up only after the High Court rules in favour of the civic agency.