Bengaluru: After dismantling over three dozen unauthorised structures, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagra Palike (BBMP) is now focussing on pulling down encroachments of drain lines by apartments and housing societies to drain out stagnant rainwaters from the city.
On Wednesday, a bulldozer was seen in action pulling down a portion of the Divyasree apartments in Yemaluru, which falls under the Mahadevapura Assembly constituency, to clear the storm water drains.
“We have identified around 350 obstructions in the passage of storm water and decided to demolish. Other encroachments are being assessed for demolition,” said Chief Commissioner of BBMP Tushar Girinath, attributing the unauthorised construction for heavy waterlogging in the city.
The BBMP had identified 696 encroachments – the majority of them in Mahadevapura (175) Revenue Minister R Ashoka had said that encroachments will be “removed mercilessly”.
A couple of days of heavy rains had brought the metropolitan city to its knees, with people struggling to go out for their routine chores.
The issue of encroachments came to the fore after parts of Bengaluru, including Outer Ring Road (ORR), Sarjapur, Marthahalli, and Bellandur were flooded in the past week. This led to a massive outcry on social media where netizens blamed the Government’s inaction against encroachments.
Earlier in the week, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had visited rain-hit areas and ordered massive crackdown on unauthorised construction. Revenue Minister R Ashoka too said that encroachments will be “removed mercilessly”.
The BBMP had razed a wall and a pathway at RMZ Ecospace – a hub of IT companies located at the confluence of Marathalli and Sarjapur. The Divyasree apartment, part of which was removed, is in Yemalur, which houses many such posh apartments like Rohan Jharoka, Epsilon residential villas and Sobha Palladian among others. Many of the luxurious apartments in the area experience heavy waterlogging due to rains that pounded the city in the past few days.
Rainwater mixed with slush from drains had entered the apartments and damaged expensive household items. Luxury cars were seen lying submerged. Residents were later rescued to safer places using motorboats by emergency personnel.
Earlier, a video of BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali abusing a Congress worker had gone viral. The woman, Ruth Sagai Mary Ameela, had alleged that a compound of her property was razed without any notice. Limbavali had later said: “They have encroached. What have I done? Did I rape her?”