Anti-encroachment drive kicks-off at 8 locations in Bangalore as govt talks tough after rain havoc
The Bengaluru civic body on Monday began a demolition drive within days of the havoc caused by rains-triggered floods in parts of city with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai asserting that the anti-encroachment offensive would be done on a big scale.
A team of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike initiated the exercise at eight places, which were allegedly causing flooding in and around Bellandur in Mahadevapura zone.
According to official sources, the BBMP identified at least 10 places in the Mahadevapura zone, which were choking the flow of rainwater, including a building, playground and garden of a prominent private school which encroached stormwater drain.
The next challenge before the authorities is to raze an elite apartment right next to the school, they added.
Notices have been served to the dwellers of the apartment to vacate it. We are waiting for their response, a BBMP official said.The CM said there will be no partisanship in the drive to remove the alleged encroachment of the stormwater drains that were said to be majorly responsible for the floods in Bengaluru recently following heavy downpour."I have given a clear direction to the officials to remove the encroachment whoever has built structures on the stormwater drains and interrupted the flow of rainwater. This I have made very clear on day one," he told reporters.
"There is no question of any partisanship on the issue," Bommai added.
When asked if big companies were found to be encroaching the stormwater drains, Bommai said: "Whoever they are, we will not spare them. Everybody suffered during floods, be it IT-BT people or the common people."
"Houses in low-lying areas too have faced problems," Bommai said, adding that the work on removal of all encroachments will be completed. The Chief Minister insisted that there was a need to clear encroachments. "The drive which has started will not stop," he added.
To a query whether the government will file a caveat in the court, Bommai said it has obtained directions from the court.
"Also, we will give all the information to the courts. This time we will carry out an anti-encroachment drive on a big scale".
Meanwhile, the Outer Ring Road Companies' Association (ORRCA) said they started their offices on Monday as usual as there was no water logging on the roads or in the offices.
The ORRCA general manager Krishna Kumar Gowda said they were also waiting for a response from the government after they submitted a comprehensive proposal on September seven to improve the infrastructure on ORR and arterial roads in the short, medium, and long term.
On the day of flooding in Bengaluru a week ago, the ORRCA had claimed that the IT and banking companies incurred a loss of about Rs 225 crore on a single day as the employees were stuck on roads and were not able to operate either from home or from office.