Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister D.K. Shivakumar, who went around the city inspecting storm-water drain works in flood-prone areas on Thursday, said the State will use every possible law to raze encroachment of rajakaluves by real estate companies.
Mr. Shivakumar visited areas in Yemalur, Sarjapur, Varathur, and other places and directed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to complete the works as soon as possible. After Mr. Shivakumar took charge, this was the first time he inspected SWD works. It should be noted the BBMP during its flood assessment had cited SWD encroachment as a major reason for waterlogging.
Stay against demolition
Mr. Shivakumar, while inspecting the works, said he found construction of high-rise buildings and layouts by builders and developers encroaching the drains. In about 118 locations, stay was brought against the BBMP from carrying out demolition drive.
Mr. Shivakumar, upset at builders securing stay from courts against BBMP, said: “The State government will use every possible law and every possible means to remove those structures.” He visited Rainbow Drive Layout near Sarjapur, layout at Yemlur, Divyashree apartment, and other areas and in some localities, he ordered a survey of SWDs.
At one place he noticed that the width of a storm-water drain was reduced to 7 metre from 12 metre. He directed BBMP Commissioner Tushar Giri Nath to build an unlined drain increasing it. He said SWDs should have a minimum width to carry away rainwater to prevent flooding.
At Rainbow Drive Layout in Sarjapur, Mr, Shivakumar listened to the woes of residents who were affected by flooding last year.
Clearances since 2017
Mr. Shivakumar, talking to presspersons, said in 2017, a survey carried out by the Revenue Department had identified encroachments in 2,971 survey numbers, of which BBMP had successfully cleared obstacles in 2,167 survey numbers. In 2023, the BBMP cleared encroachments in 88 survey numbers. Action was also being taken to raze structures in the remaining 666 survey numbers.
To tackle flood, 55 excavators, 26 tippers, and 14 tractors were on standby round the year and ₹35 crore had been allocated to each Assembly constituency to desilt 581 km length of rajakaluves, he said.