The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahangara Palike’s (BBMP) anti-encroachment drive does have its supporters.
However, a growing number of residents, who have had their homes demolished, contend that their constructions were built only after obtaining necessary clearances from the civic authorities in Bengaluru.
Approvals include certificates from the Revenue Department and No Objection Certificates. These residents have also paid taxes for their properties.
Despite these government certifications, the BBMP has been razing 'illegal' properties because they are built on stormwater drains, state lands and tank and lake beds.
The fallout of this situation not only includes citizens making a beeline to corporation ward offices in Bengaluru to verify if their properties are safe but has also caused a slump in the real estate sector in Bengaluru and surrounding areas.
Those aspiring to register their properties after ‘Ashada’ month (considered by some Hindus as inauspicious for new beginnings), no longer seem eager to do so.
In the of month of July, 25,142 properties were registered. However, so far, in August, only 19,392 properties have been registered as of now - a considerable decrease.
One home owner's lament spoke for many. "About 15 years ago, I bought a plot near Hosakerehalli Lake through a reputable person. The plot is in the vicinity of the lake, and a water channel is nearby, at a distance of 60-70 feet. Five years ago, we constructed a house by availing a huge bank loan. Now, we fear that our house will be razed to the ground. This has put us in a dilemma about whether to retain this house or to sell right away for," Kripakar, a resident, said.
Perhaps the best sign of the continuing fear of citizens is the 'server down' message on the BBMP website.
The BBMP had uploaded a detailed map of the city, demarcating areas in which the encroachment drive will occur.
The several lakh users who immediately tried to load the webpage caused the server to crash.
Last Updated 7:01 PM IST