Bengaluru, Aug 11: Bengaluru has been witnessing a major demolition drive in a bid to clear out encroachments on the storm water drains. Many have complained that they did not have enough time and the authorities have taken them by surprise.
The legal advisor to the Government of Karnataka, Brijesh Kalappa says that there was an intimation that such a drive would be undertaken for the past six months. "The markings of the properties to be demolished to clear up the encroachments was done six months back itself. It was an action that had to be taken in the interest of the city," Kalappa tells OneIndia.
Further he also says that under Section 2881 A of the Municipalities Act, the Commissioner of the corporation is duty bound to act and take action in such matters. There is no mandate that he issues a notice in such matters. Moreover the government is taking back the area which belongs to it.
On the issue of compensation, Kalappa says that only if a demolition has taken place on a government approved project then this issue would crop up. He says that in private layouts if there is a demolition, then the question of compensation does not arise because the government is only taking back what belongs to it.
However, if such irregularities are found on a Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) site, then the government will pay the compensation. "This is because the government has taken money from the buyer. This is however, not the case in a private layout. I would also add that in my knowledge one would not find such irregularities in Government approved sites," Kalappa said.
On the action proposed against those officials who had approved such projects, Kalappa says that the strictest action will be taken. The officials of the first clearing authority such as the Town Planning Authority and the Gram Panchayat are responsible for such issues.
The BBMP will not know where the storm water drains are. It is the Town Planning Authority which has knowledge of such issues and it is for them to inform where layouts and constrictions are permissible, he adds.
The officials who are responsible for this will be dealt with an iron fist. They will be tried under the Prevention of Corruption Act, for criminal negligence and also dereliction of duty. The same rule would apply to retired officials as well.