High-profile builders, developers and tech parks are among the list of alleged encroachers who closed up around 700 storm water drains in Bengaluru that led to last week’s flood in parts of the city.
The list includes Wipro, Prestige, Eco Space, Bagmane Tech Park, Columbia Asia Hospital and Divyashree Villas, found NDTV, which has accessed the list of encroachments by high-profile names. It also appears that while demolitions are on in full swing for common man’s properties, behemoth companies are yet to be touched.
The engineers NDTV spoke to, said on condition of anonymity that they will also not be spared. But the action is yet to begin. “We are moving one after the other. But there’s a clear delay that we are seeing on ground,” one of them said.
A demolition drive, though, has been carried on the premises of Nalapad Academy of International School in east Bengaluru, which belongs to a leader of the opposition Congress, which had been the biggest critic of Karnataka’s BJP government over the floods. The school belongs to Congress Youth President Mohammed Nalapad.
Asked how encroachment by the school went unnoticed, Malathi, the chief engineer who was overseeing the demolition, blamed the revenue department.
“We didn’t know. This comes under the revenue department. They should have kept a check. Now we are demolishing the encroachment,” she told NDTV.
The demolitions in residential area, meanwhile, has been on since last week, though any official figure is yet to arrive.
In the eastern part of Bengaluru, the boundary wall of a four-storey building was razed while residents were inside their homes on Tuesday.
Building owner Dinesh Reddy claimed he has taken “all necessary permissions” before going ahead with the construction.
“This storm water drain has existed for a long time, and despite knowing this the authorities granted me permission to construct the building. I have not violated any rules. Without any notice, they have come and demolished the compound wall,” he said.
NDTV questioned the executive engineer overseeing the demolition, who denied that any permission has been given for the construction.
“This building has no sanctioned plan and they have violated the laws and have constructed on storm water drain,” said Executive Engineer Muni Reddy.
Many residents said they were given no prior notice of the demolition and found out about it only when they heard the bulldozers in action.
“They have not informed us. We were not informed. When the demolition began, we were inside our homes,” said Alok, a resident of the four-storey building that was being demolished.
“I was sleeping. I had finished my night shift was fast asleep. I woke up suddenly to the loud noises of the demolition,” said Praveen, another resident.