Big names on Bengaluru demolition list spark discrimination cries

‘What goes around comes around, comes around’ aptly summarises the situation in India’s silicon valley in the aftermath of the massive flooding in the city’s IT quarter last week.

In an irony of sorts, many high profile developers, IT majors, hospitals figure among the encroachers allegedly responsible for choking almost 700 storm water drains (SWD), as per an internal note of the BBMP tasked with clearing up the mess.

Almost half of the encroachments comprise of houses and other structures of permanent nature, which is making the going slow.

Names of entities like Prestige, Bagmane Tech Park, Columbia Asia Hospital, Eco Space, Gopalan, Salarpuria, Wipro and Congress leader Haris Nalapad figure in the encroachers’ list.

While the authorities have got into action mode, they’re being accused of selective demolition by some of the parties whose properties have borne the brunt of demolition drives over the past two days.

“Instead of going after big companies, the authorities are targeting private residential properties like ours,” a resident of an apartment building in Marathahalli said.

Some of the residents have approached the courts against the demolition drive. Civic authorities are unperturbed by the allegations of discrimination. On condition of anonymity, BBMP sources said that they have been instructed to go tough on all encroachments. But it’s not going as fast as expected, they conceded.

Congress MLA Haris Nalapad questioned the arbitrary manner in which his school was subjected to the demolition drive. He said: “First of all there was no flooding here, and there was no storm water drain here when we purchased the property 25 years ago. So why this haste? If they issue a legal notice, we can jointly survey and check if any encroachment is there.”

However, there has so far been no response from captains of industry who were raising a hue and cry over the flooding and causes behind it.




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