BBMP starts drive to remove encroachments on storm-water drains

Priority being given to ensuring free flow of water in all vulnerable areas, says civic chief

Published - November 27, 2021 02:08 am IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of an open drain in Rajarajeshwarinagar.

A file photo of an open drain in Rajarajeshwarinagar.

Following Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s directions, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has taken up the drive to remove encroachments on storm-water drains. It has identified 714 drains for removal.

Civic chief Gaurav Gupta said priority was being given to ensuring free flow of water in all the vulnerable areas. “Removal of encroachments is a regular exercise. We have already taken up the drive in many places across the city, especially in the vulnerable points,” he said.

Following a survey, in December 2020, the civic body had stated that of 2,626 encroachments, only 714 remained, while there were 52 cases being heard in the court. In 2016-17, 428 encroachments had been removed, while in 2018-19, a total of 1,484 had been cleared. These included agricultural land, vacant sites, residential and commercial buildings, and roads.

However, following the pandemic, the encroachment clearing drive had all but stopped.

The previous survey report in August 2016 showed that in 139 villages in and around the city, the storm water drain network had been encroached to an extent of 326.16 acres and 1,570 encroachments had been identified. Of these, 356 were residential buildings, 35 commercial buildings, 935 vacant sites or agricultural lands and 244 roads.

In both these reports, the maximum encroachment was identified in Mahadevapura zone. Of 1,570, 761 were in Mahadevapura zone in 2016. As per the latest report, of 714, there were 184 in Mahadevapura zone. The least number of encroachments have been identified (as per the latest report) in Koramangala valley (3) and Rajarajeshwarinagar zone (9).

In the high-powered meeting held recently in the BBMP, it is said that the Chief Minister took the officials of the storm-water drains department to task for failing to provide details of works taken up, number of encroachments cleared and cases pending in court. He has also directed the civic body to clear encroachments by big developers and builders without mercy, but given some time to those belonging to lower socio-economic groups to make alternate arrangements.

Mr. Gupta reiterated that there was no impediment from the court for encroachment removal.

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