Salary of Chief Engineer may be withheld if substantial progress not made in SWD encroachment removal, cautions HC

Only 10 encroachments of the total 2,626 identified at stormwater drains have been removed in the past 15 days

October 01, 2022 12:05 am | Updated 09:32 am IST - Bengaluru

A file photo of a storm water drain in Bengaluru.

A file photo of a storm water drain in Bengaluru.

Expressing displeasure over removal of only 10 encroachments of stormwater drains (SWDs) during past 15 days, the High Court of Karnataka on Friday orally cautioned that it may have to order for withholding of the salary of Chief Engineer (SWD), Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty made the observations while examining the steps taken by the BBMP to fill potholes and maintain SWDs during the hearing on a PIL petition related to maintenance of city’s roads.

It noted that the BBMP, as on September 16, had said that 602 encroachments of SWDs are yet to be removed of the total 2,626 identified encroachments.

Not even one a day

As the BBMP said that only 10 encroachments were removed after September 16, the Court orally said that BBMP has not even removed one encroachments a day.

“We find no satisfactory progress has been made in removal of encroachments of SWDs. Mr. M. Lokesh, Chief Engineer (SWD) is directed to ensure that substantial progress is done in the removal of encroachments by October 25 and submit a status report. In case substantial progress is not made then appropriate orders shall be passed,” the bench observed in its order.

On potholes

Meanwhile, the BBMP has said that the remaining 221 identified potholes on the major roads have been repaired, and around 3-4 km of the completely damaged roads in Mahadevapura zone have resurfaced in the past 10 days.

The Bench adjourned further hearing till October 27 while directing the BBMP to submit a status report on the progress made in repair of the roads and removal of SWD encroachments.

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