BBMP officials miffed with task force; they say it is acting out of its jurisdiction

Fed up with the lack of response from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) engineers, who were asked to demolish illegal structures, the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) has filed 28 criminal cases against the engineers.

Announcing this at a workshop held at the BBMP headquarters here on Thursday, Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP) of BMTF R.P. Sharma said the suo motu cases were filed after repeated requests to the engineers to act on complaints against structures violating building codes were ignored.

“Assistant executive engineers (AEE), who are legally entrusted to conduct demolitions, have not heeded our notices and advice to raze certain illegal structures. It has become imperative for the BMTF to use its legal and judicial powers,” he said.

Out of the 47 complaints of various building code violations being investigated, Mr. Sharma said that 28 criminal cases had been filed against the engineers, and the rest of the complaints were still in the inquiry stage.

However, this action has not gone down well with the engineers, with several of them alleging that the BMTF was acting out of its jurisdiction. “Some engineers have told me that the BMTF had no authority to file cases against them. They even threatened to go on an agitation against the task force,” said BMTF Superintendent of Police Mallikarjun Swamy.

It was in the background of this controversy that the workshop to elaborate on the legal powers of the BMTF was held.

Emphasising that the roles of the task force, which acts as a police station, was clearly mentioned under Section 321 (b) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1976, Mr. Sharma said: “While we do not have the authority to demolish structures, it is our responsibility and duty to take action against those engineers whose responsibility it is to demolish illegal structures.”

‘A priority for us'

He said the issue of building violations is a priority for the task force, and this was visible in the increased number of complaints filed with the BMTF.