Staff Reporter

Over 37 acres of land near Sigehalli and Kannahalli Magadi Road recovered

The land was allotted to the BMP five years ago 12 excavators, 26 lorries and six buses were deployed for the operation Over 450 gangmen and 400 personnel from the police and BMTF took part in the operation

BANGALORE: In a swift demolition drive, the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP) on Wednesday razed over 5,000 hutments that had illegally come up on its land in Sigehalli and Kannahalli on Magadi Road.

These hutments, which included over 300 cement structures, had come up on 37 acres of land allotted by the State Government to the BMP for setting up a dumping yard.

As per a requisition made by the BMP, the Government had allotted 7.3 acres at Segehalli and 29 acres at Kannahalli five years ago. But the delay in setting up the unit had resulted in hundreds of huts coming up on this Rs. 70 crore worth property.

On Monday, during the BMP Council's meeting, several corporators from the Congress in the BMP had alleged that some MLAs from the Janata Dal (Secular) and Bharatiya Janata Party were involved in the encroachment.

They had given the Commissioner K. Jariaj two days to clear the encroachments and recover the property. A battalion of over 450 gangmen and personnel from the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF), over 400 policemen from Bangalore rural district equipped with 12 earthmoving machines, 26 lorries, six buses, two ambulances and two fire tenders carried out the operation.

The demolition, supervised by the BMP Additional Commissioner Gaurav Gupta and Bangalore Urban Deputy Commissioner M.A. Sadiq, started at 6 a.m. and went on till 10.30 a.m. BMTF Inspector General of Police Alok Mohan, and Bangalore Rural Superintendent of Police K. Srinivas were part of the team.

Although there was no resistance from the occupants of the land, over 120 people who tried to protest the drive were taken into preventive custody by the rural police. These people included over 40 women, who were later let off.

Mr. Gupta told The Hindu that care was taken to ensure that there was no law and order problem. On the rehabilitation of the evicted people, Mr. Gupta said that Mr. Sadiq would identify genuine claims, if any, and look into them.

The BMP planned to fence the land and deploy round-the-clock security, he added.