The Karnataka government’s demolition drive to restore the stormwater drains by razing the buildings has not been received well by the people of the state.

 

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had identified four houses and 16 empty plots to take into its custody, but the residents gathered in numbers questioned the BBMP's rationale in finding a lost drain by demolishing the houses, said a resident of Dasarahalli.

 

It is said that the BBMP's primary drain that connects lakes to mitigate the floods in Dasarahalli was encroached about 20 years ago and layouts were constructed.

 

"There is a graveyard, a temple which the BBMP says will have to be razed to make way for the stormwater drain. They also have marked four houses for demolition. Had the BBMP put a fence around its drains, we would not be living in fear of losing our homes. The BBMP said only compound walls would be demolished but we do not believe them as they have damaged many houses in other areas," said Satish, a resident.

 

Kempaiah, another resident who stays in the area from last 25 years said, His neighbourhood house was marked for demolition. But as the owners are away from City, the BBMP has not razed it as they want to talk to the owners and give them a chance to vacate.

 

"I am live in constant fear of losing my home. This fear has prevented me from even going to work. What if BBMP damages my home while demolishing the marked house situated next to mine," said Kempaiah.

 

He charged the BBMP of having preferential treatment policy while carrying out demolition. "Actor Darshan's house at RR Nagar and former minister Shamnur Shivshankarappa’s hospital in the same area were spared from demolition as they were influential. Only poor are targeted,” he said.

 

As few residents and owners slapped a stay order on BBMP, the Executive Engineer Seshadri returned empty-handed. The BBMP only cleared the empty plots and marked the area for demolition, once the stay is lifted.

 

"We have all the records to prove that there was a stormwater drain about two decades ago. The demolition was stopped in October as many land surveyors had to return to the Revenue Department for other work, but now again they have been deputed to carry out a land survey to identify the stormwater drains. As many owners have brought a stay, we only cleared a few empty plots and made provision to restore the path of the stormwater drain. Once the stay is lifted, we will continue the demolition drive," Sheshadri said.