Siddaramaiah rules out halting demolition drive by BBMP

Siddaramaiah rules out halting demolition drive by BBMP

Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said there was no question of stopping the BBMP’s ongoing drive to demolish structures on stormwater drains.

“The properties of builders and developers — however influential they might be — which have come up on lakebeds and stormwater drains, will not be spared. The government will not succumb to any sort of pressure,” Siddaramaiah told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Bengaluru.

He rubbished charges that the government was targeting only the poor and middle-class families. “If the drive is not taken up, there will be disastrous repercussions every time it rains. Thousands will have to suffer due to waterlogging and flooding. Bengaluru can turn into another Chennai,” Siddaramaiah said, referring to last year’s floods in the Tamil Nadu capital. The chief minister said houses constructed on lakebeds were bound to be flooded when it rains, but ultimately the BBMP had to take the blame. He said an enquiry has already been ordered against officials who had violated rules by permitting such constructions. Action will be initiated against such officials, he said.

Siddaramaiah has also sought details of encroachment of rajakaluves (stormwater drains/ feeder canals) which had led to flash floods on July 28 and 29.

Replying to queries on the demolition drive to evict encroachment of rajakaluves, in the BBMP Council on Monday, Commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said the chief minister has asked him to fix the responsibility on the officials who issued ‘A’ Khatha (revenue document) and sanctioned building plans on the rajakaluves.

Prasad told the Council that the width of a primary stormwater drain at Kasavanahalli was reduced from 50 metres to 10 metres.

He said Avani Sringeri Nagar Layout and Shubh Enclave were among those formed on stormwater drains.

The chief minister has assigned Additional Chief Secretary for Urban Development Department, Mahendra Jain, to head the panel to look into the files pertaining to the approvals and initiate criminal action against the officials responsible for giving permission. The Joint Commissioner of Bommanahalli Zone has been directed to provide the files.

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