An eviction drive conducted by the Slum Development Board and police on Thursday was met with stiff resistance from affected families at Agrahara Dasarahalli. In 2014, the Board built 65 flats (G+3) using BBMP funds, of which 35 flats were allotted to beneficiaries identified by the civic body. The authorities claim that the remaining flats were being occupied illegally by various families.
On Thursday morning, officials landed in the area with heavy police force, including women personnel, to evict 17 families accused of illegal occupation.
The police forcibly evicted residents, who accused them of acting at the behest of local political leaders. Opposing the eviction, a woman allegedly attempted suicide.
A resident said, “The slum board officials are selectively targeting some families for political reasons. They have dragged women out of the house. There are families with elderly people and children. Where will they go if they are suddenly asked to vacate?”
Another resident said, “Housing Minister V. Somanna is representing the constituency. He promises to provide roofs for all in the city, but in his own constituency, he is not stopping illegal eviction despite knowing that they have been living here for years. They are throwing out families even though cases are pending in court ”
Officials of the Board and the Minister defended the action. A senior official said, “The BBMP had funded the project and the Board built flats for slum-dwellers. Of the 65 flats, 35 beneficiaries were given title deeds to occupy the flats since 2014. For remaining flats, the BBMP had prepared a list of beneficiaries. However, they could not occupy them, as some unauthorised people started living in the houses.”
According to officials, a notice had been served to the families, as per a court order, stating that they had time till January 31 to vacate.
Mr. Somanna told mediapersons that the project was implemented when the BJP government was in power in 2011-12. “Legal beneficiaries identified are still on the road. No one is talking about their plight. Beneficiaries identified should get the benefit of housing facilities,” he said, while dismissing allegations of local BJP leaders’ role in the drive.