Updated: October 26, 2021 2:52:34 pm
Abiding by the Supreme Court order, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) on Monday went ahead with its demolition drive, razing four commercial structures and three temporary sheds at Somashettyhalli in Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout amid public protest. Officials said they have identified 500 such illegal structures and would be taking them down phase by phase in the near future.
The demolition drive began around 7am Monday with more than 200 police personnel deployed for protection. A three-storeyed building made of Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC), three two-storeyed RCC buildings and three sheds covered with asbestos cement sheets were demolished using four excavators and five breakers. As many as 50 officials and 12 engineers from BDA were also part of the drive.
Sources in the BDA said over 500 structures which have come up on the notified land after 2018 have been declared illegal.
It was not a smooth operation as the residents staged a protest against the demolition claiming that they were unaware of the court order. Dasarahalli MLA R Manjunath also joined the protest which led to the drive being halted briefly, only to resume later.
Former chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy criticised the BDA’s move on Monday accusing the state government of playing with people’s lives. He said BDA officials who gave clearance to construct the buildings by receiving bribes are the ones who should be held responsible and not the public.
Last month, Revenue Minister R Ashok said five sub-registrars had been suspended over violations at Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout.
In March 2018, the Supreme Court had directed that no registration of sites needs to be done in favour of third parties but, in its last hearing in August this year, the apex court took serious note of the alleged violation of its orders as the registration of sites to third parties continued. The SC pulled up the state government and sought immediate action.
The layout had been proposed in 2008 across 3,456 acres and 12 guntas of land and was supposed to have 18,975 sites spread across 17 villages. A notification was issued by the BDA to acquire them, but it got caught in a web of litigation and no final notification was issued. While the Karnataka High Court in 2015 cancelled the Dr K Shivaram Karanth Layout project citing numerous cases filed by land owners over the years, the Supreme Court ordered the BDA to form the layout in 2018.
The SC-appointed Justice AV Chandrashekar committee, which completed an aerial survey and field survey, has sought applications from the land owners. As per the study, about 7,500 structures have come up here between 2008 and 2018. Preliminary reports suggest that there are about 2,300 illegal structures.
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