The evicted residents of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) shantytown in Ejipura, accompanied by citizens and rights activists, delivered a petition with more than 11,000 signatures, demanding their housing rights.
The signatures were collected through an online campaign. The petition was handed over to Uday Garudachar, managing director of Maverick Holdings Pvt. Ltd., at his office in Garuda Mall here. The developer has entered into a public-private partnership (PPP) with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to construct a housing complex and a commercial complex on the 15 acre 22 guntas of prime land in Ejipura.
Demanding that the PPP be scrapped, the residents wanted the entire land to be used solely for a housing project for all those who have been evicted. The petition said around 6,000 people have been rendered homeless after their houses were razed by the developer. The residents, the petition stated, helplessly watched the bulldozers demolishing their houses.
It also stated that the land was originally allotted and legally meant for building houses for citizens belonging to lower socioeconomic groups. Even months after their homes were demolished, the evicted residents have not been rehabilitated, rights activists pointed out. After being rendered homeless, many citizens have lost their livelihood and children have dropped out from schools, while senior citizens were most affected.
Pointing out that Mr. Garudachar was now contesting from Chickpet Assembly constituency on a BJP ticket, Karthik Ranganathan, one of the activists, said: “As somebody aspiring to become an elected representative, we hope that Mr. Garudachar will realise that thousands of people do not approve of this project. The PPP should be scrapped.”
Shweta, activist, said the evicted residents had been issued biometric cards by the BBMP. They possessed voters’ identity card and ration cards. “They are rightful residents of the area. Why were they not consulted before by either the BBMP or the developer?” Earlier, when the residents and activists went to the mall to meet Mr. Garudachar, they were refused entry. After a lot of convincing, the mall management allowed a few people inside. Even after the petition was handed over to Mr. Garudachar, the management refused to take any questions from presspersons.