Demolition drive was started by the Karnataka government to ensure free stormwater drains from buildings. Initially, houses of common people were demolished, but now as the list includes influential people, it has decided to transform them into government offices. Will this decision serve any purpose at all?


The current news of the High Court’s stay on district administration’s order on vacating Shamanur Shivashankarappa’s hospital on Rajarajeshwari Nagar, which came under demolition drive has given rise to many questions.

 

Ex-minister Shivashankarappa owned SS Hospital had filed a petition in the High Court, questioning the notice for clearing of encroached government land, issued by Tahasildar of Bangalore South Taluk. Single-member Bench comprising justice S Abdul Nazeer instructed the authorities concerned not to initiate any action nor taking possession of the said hospital, till the case is heard and the legal process is completed, the court ruled.

 

Appearing on behalf of the petitioner, advocate Uday Holla argued that hospital was constructed in 1975 under the site developed by Ideal Homes Co-operative Society. He questioned as the intention of the administration, which asked the owners to vacate the place after so many years.

 

Putting forth, government’s arguments, Kiran Kumar said, the encroachment of 22 guntas of Kharab land belonging to government has been substantially proved, a notice has been issued according to the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and Tahasildar is empowered to do so which is in accordance with law. He contended that the petitioner can answer the notice before the competent authority which can conduct the trial and give verdict.

 

Peoplespeak

By razing down the SS Hospital that incurred crores of rupees’ investment, no objective would be fulfilled. Instead, by converting it into a government hospital, the needy and poor can be served, said Chennabasava Hoogar, Secretary, Icon School.

If water is flowing in the stormwater drains currently, then authorities can initiate anti-encroachment drive. But government exhibited its barbarism as it intends to raze down 69 houses of common people and decided to just vacate buildings of the influential people, said Dr Srinivas, residing at the affected location

Because of officials’ mistake citizens are facing problems. First, government should take action against those officers who conducted survey. If houses are razed, then who will pay compensation, questioned Linge Gowda, a resident of the area.

 

At a loss

Reacting to the notices, residents of Ideal Homes Layout said: “BDA had given permission to construct houses and BBMP authorities have allotted sites after the survey. So, how can they ask us to leave the place so suddenly, realising now that the building is constructed on the stormwater drain?”

 

Residents of the affected areas are under anxiety and fear as the layout is said to have come up in 7.31 acre government land. The development has made people on rent leave the houses in the locality and no one is coming forward to occupy the houses, either on rent or own it.