Bengaluru: Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar flayed the government for its double standards while dealing with buildings encroached by influential people.
“This is a builder-contractor sarkara — from land and lake encroachments, to the now returned KUDA Bill, the double standards witnessed in the city during demolitions, BBMP approaching the Court to appeal for a relief on the NGT Order (Quashed by the court) on buffer zones etc shows a deep engagement of certain people in the Govt with the developer lobby, which must come to a stop,” he said. Even the proposed steel flyover would serve the interests of a few, he added.
Critics claimed that it’s a win-win situation for these ‘persons’ and the government as the buildings are spared from demolition and a newer idea of turning them into government offices. If encroached parts are demolished, the entire structure needs to be pulled down. That is why strings are being pulled to spare them,” they pointed out.
While one wonders if there is really a provision in the government to decide which structures are to be demolished and which ones to be spared, especially in the light of controversy regarding sparing of actor Darshan’s house and former minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa’s SS Hospitals.
Legal experts are of the view that they need specific details in these cases. “From what we are able to gather from public domain, in both cases the respective parties appear to have undertaken to demolish the encroachments and therefore the Deputy Commissioner did not commission demolition of these structures. Under Section 321(1) of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976 (the “Act”), if the Commissioner is satisfied that construction of any building is unlawful as per Section 321 of the Act, he will issue an order directing the building owner to demolish the illegal structure, whilst also issuing a show-cause notice as to why the said order requiring demolition should not be confirmed,” they pointed out. “If the owner fails to sufficiently show cause or demolish, the Commissioner shall go ahead with demolition,” they added.
Relevant cases: In this context, if one can refer to the decisions of the Karnataka High Court in Ameer Baig v. State of Karnataka & Others, 2010 (3) Kar. L.J. 404; and Major K. A. Mathew Vs The Comissioner, BBMP 2010(3) Kar.L.J. 632. Needless to say, when supported with credible and actionable information, a public spirited person may move a PIL in high court, legal experts said.
High Court relief to Shamanur
In a relief to former minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa, the High Court on Thursday asked the authorities to not to dispossess or demolish the SS Hospital till the completion of ongoing process. They had approached the court challenging the notice issued to them following report submitted by the tahsildar, which had stated that S.S. Hospital had encroached upon 22 guntas of kharab land belonging to government. The authorities had issued notices under the Section 39 of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act to all the 69 encroachers at Ideal Homes Layout in Rajarajeshwarinagar, including S S Hospitals, and others.
BBMP elects chiefs to standing committees
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) standing committee elections were held on Thursday at the BBMP council hall in the presence of Mayor and the chairmen for various committees were unanimously elected. Jayamahal corporator M.K. Gunashekhar was elected as the chairman for tax and finance committee, Hombegowda Nagar corporator D. Chandrappa was elected as the chairman for major works committee and Benniganahalli coporator Meenakshi was elected chairperson for horticulture committee. “Chairmen for other committees such as Town Planning, Education, Ward Committee, and Markets were also elected on Wednesday, but the office bearers are awaiting official communications to confirm their newly-elected posts, which is expected in a couple of days,” Gunashekhar said. The chairman for the ‘all-standing committees’ will be elected unanimously in three to four days, he added. It may be recalled that the chairmen for all the twelve standing committees were decided during the time of Mayor elections. While seven chairmen posts were elected from ruling Congress party, Congress’ alliance, whereas five were elected from Janata Dal (Secular).