Bengaluru: Given the rising anger of scores of Bengalureans whose homes have been bulldozed despite holding what they believed were legitimate ‘A’ khata certificates, CM Siddaramaiah announced late on Tuesday that a probe is to be initiated against 20 officers, present and past, from the BBMP and the BDA, who had sanctioned the encroachment of storm water drains that set off the recent flooding.
In a first of its kind move, officials will be punished for their act in falsifying papers that allowed builders to gain documentation that sanctioned the building of apartments and homes on drains and rajakaluves.
Their role has been proved prima facie, insiders said. Seven of the 20 officials under the scanner have retired from service, while 13 are serving government officials. The retired officers will face criminal action, while the serving bureaucrats will be suspended pending a departmental inquiry.
The sudden flash flooding of streets, homes and lakes in Kodichikkanahalli, Madiwala, Sarakki and BTM layout saw an alarmed CM give a green signal for the demolition of scores of homes and apartments in Bommanahalli, Yelahanka and Mahadevpura zones, which were built over stormwater drains, even as angry residents who saw their homes being torn down waved their ‘A’ khatas that had been given the seal of approval by BDA officials.
Mr Siddaramaiah has recommended the suspension of as many as 13 officials of different ranks from town planning, engineering and administration for issuing 'A' khata and building plans enabling real estate developers to encroach on the drains.
Among the officials to be probed are Mr. Govindaraj, a BBMP Joint Director of Town Planning, Mr. K. C. Karigowda, a BDA town planning member and Mr. Chowdegowda, Additional Director, Town Planning.
Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala strongly recommended criminal charges be brought against officials whose role in allowing encroachment of drains and buffer zones has prima facie, been proven.