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Housing Board demolishes encroachments

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INCONSOLABLE: A resident of Chikkamuniyappa Layout breaks down as illegal constructions were demolished in Bangalore on Monday. Photo: K. Murali Kumar
INCONSOLABLE: A resident of Chikkamuniyappa Layout breaks down as illegal constructions were demolished in Bangalore on Monday. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

Staff Reporter

We should have been given notice, says resident

BANGALORE: "Why did they not give even a day's notice? Are we not entitled to at least that much warning?" asks an agitated H.B. Anjaneya as behind him, earthmovers mechanically tear his house down.

Cots, television sets and clothes lie strewn about as people watch their houses being razed at Chikkamuniyappa Layout, Allalasandra in Yelahanka, off National Highway 7.

In an operation that began at 8 a.m., the Karnataka Housing Board recovered eight acres of prime property, demolishing 45 houses and 15 sheds.

"We got up at six in the morning and saw policemen standing around our house. We thought some accident had happened at the Yelahanka railway gate. However, when we enquired they said we have to take our belongings and leave the house as they were going to bring it down," says Naveena Vishnukumar, another resident.

Residents say they bought the land from Chikkamuniyappa in 1985.

They said they did not have documents at that moment to prove it.

Only Mr. Anjaneya showed copies of electricity bills paid to Bangalore Electricity Supply Company, property tax receipts paid to the erstwhile Yelahanka City Municipal Council and a sale deed between him and Mr. Chikkamuniyappa executed on May 25, 1995.

Assistant Executive Engineer S.S. Patil told The Hindu that the Housing Board had acquired the land in 1991 and that no compensation could be provided as they were all unauthorised occupants.

"I earn by living stringing flowers and selling them. My family has taken a loan to construct this house.

"Now that we are on the streets, where shall I get money to pay the advance for a new house?" asked a tearful Ammajan, who had also sold her house in Gowribidanur to build a new one in Yelahanka here.

Recovered

The Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force recovered eight acres belonging to Karnataka Housing Board.

The value of the recovered land is estimated at more than Rs. 65 crore.

A release said that the encroachment removal drive was taken up by jointly by the BMTF and the KHB, and around 60 unauthorised dwelling units of various types were removed.

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