Over 500 ‘illegal’ structures on land notified for Shivaram Karanth Layout
Bangalore Development Authority brought down seven of them in demolition drive on Monday
The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has identified over 500 structures, which have come up “illegally” on the land notified for the Dr. K Shivaram Karanth Layout after 2018.
Several structures have already been removed by the BDA and on Monday, during one such drive at Somashettihalli, officials faced resistance from residents as seven structures were brought down, including a ground-plus-two-floor building and three sheds.
Pradeep Kumar, a property owner, said, “We had built a structure on our own property. Several structures were demolished on Monday and owners lost structures worth over ₹2 crore. For the formation of the layout, 3 acres of our family land was notified. At le ast these structures could have been spared. Fourteen years ago, they had issued a notification for the layout. All these years, the land owners suffered a lot. Now they are coming out with compensation which is not agreeable to land owners and demolishing properties that have been built spending our hard-earned money.”
Another person, who owns a property in the notified area, said, “The State Government and the BDA are causing misery to people in the area. They had constructed houses after registering their properties and borrowing loans from banks. But now, officials are claiming that these are illegal structures and demolishing them. Local people are paying a huge price for the lapses on the part of the BDA and the State Government.”
BDA officials claim that illegal constructions that came up after 2018 have been identified using satellite imagery and drone surveys. The alleged illegal constructions are at villages such as Somashettihalli, Byalakere, Lakshmipura, Vaderahalli, Ganigarahalli, and others, they said, adding that the BDA has brought down 45 structures in separate demolition drives.
In a press release, the BDA has maintained that it is demolishing structures that have come up after August 3, 2018, barring those properties of which the owners submitted applications before a Supreme Court committee.
However, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has demanded that the BDA stop the demolition . He alleged that structures that have come up after getting no-objection certificates from the authority are also being demolished.
“The officials are playing with the lives of the people. The State Government should give legal protection to the owners of the buildings. It had failed to argue the case in the court and has not given proper communication to the public. Chairman of the BDA S.R. Vishwanth had earlier protested against the formation of the layout but is now demolishing houses,” he said, demanding that the Government convene a meeting on the issue and address the grievances of the people.
BDA Commissioner Rajesh Gowda has defended the drives by saying it is following an order of the Supreme Court. “As per the order, buildings constructed after 2018 are illegal constructions. Our engineers have identified such buildings and they are being cleared now. It is common to oppose the demolition drive, but we are duty bound to follow the SC order. Every 15 days, we submit a report to the SC on the status of the layout of the project.”
For the formation of the layout, the BDA is acquiring 3,500 acres of land spread across 17 villages.