Today's Paper Archive Classifieds Subscriptions RSS Feeds Site Map ePaper Mobile Apps Social
SEARCH

MEG helped protect heritage structure: BBMP

Staff Reporter
Share  ·   print   ·  

The Sappers official says the land around it was acquired by the Indian Army

SOME PLAINSPEAKING:BBMP officials candidly admit that but for the MEG fencing, the property would have been converted into another slum.— FILE PHOTO: K. MURALI KUMAR
SOME PLAINSPEAKING:BBMP officials candidly admit that but for the MEG fencing, the property would have been converted into another slum.— FILE PHOTO: K. MURALI KUMAR

By “encroaching” upon the property of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Madras Engineering Group and Centre (MEG) had “helped” the civic authority protect the watchtower constructed in the 16{+t}{+h}Century by Kempe Gowda II.

The MEG has constructed a compound around the tower, besides fencing off a 15-foot road and the Sri Guddada Muneeshwara Swamy Temple.

Local residents and devotees of the temple blame the BBMP for not protecting its property from encroachment.

But, BBMP officials candidly admit that “but for the MEG fencing, its property (the road and land opposite the temple) would have been converted into another slum”.

Sunday's protest

The issue of “encroachment” of the watchtower, temple and the road by the MEG was highlighted by the residents and devotees who staged a protest here on Sunday morning demanding the removal of the fencing and permitting public access to the heritage tower.

By preventing access, the MEG had violated Section 18 of the Karnataka Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act 1961, they said.

The BBMP official said that 42,000 sq ft of land had been leased to the MEG for 99 years during the pre-Independence period.

“However, there is no lease agreement as per our records. So, legally, the MEG is not the lessee. Several [BBMP] Commissioners have previously written to the MEG on this,” he said.

Paper-pushing

The official added that last year, the BBMP and the Defence establishment had agreed to a joint survey.

The BBMP wrote to the Defence Estates Office and MEG.

“We have not received any response from them. We have now written to the Secretary of the Urban Development Department saying the matter should be pursued by the Chief Secretary by contacting the Defence Secretary. We want to settle the issue amicably,” the official said.

‘It's Defence land'

Meanwhile, a senior MEG official, on condition of anonymity, told The Hindu that the land has not been leased to MEG by BBMP.

“In fact, the land has been acquired by the Indian Army. The area, including the temple, belongs to the Defence. The Defence Estates Office is the custodian of all land records and the office has confirmed that the land belongs to us,” the official said.

The official also said that the temple was being maintained by a former MEG serviceman.

“However, attempts were made to grab the land. The matter went to court in 2005 and the ruling came in favour of the MEG,” the official added.

More In: KARNATAKA | NATIONAL

O
P
E
N

close

Recent Article in KARNATAKA

Congress candidate and Union Minister K.H. Muniyappa voting at Harohalli in Kolar on Thursday.

Muniyappa gets direction of EVM changed

A polling officer at a booth in Harohalli in Kolar was changed after Congress candidate K.H. Muniyappa got the direction of the EVM chang... »