Justice L Narayanaswamy ordered the BBMP to pull up those officers who worked hand-in-hand with encroachers. According to the court, the officials concerned reportedly approved land conversions, sanctioned layouts and building plans and issued occupancy certificates to buildings close to drains and lake beds.
The court even rejected a plea by property owner Nama Krishnaiah, who sought a stay on the demolition of his property in Kasavanahalli in Bengaluru. The judge said, “It is high time to direct the state to amend necessary acts to initiate criminal action against erring officers.”
The court’s order to demolish structures close to the storm water drains will mostly impact residents of Kasavanahalli, Kaikondanahalli and Mahadevapura in Bengaluru.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced a probe would be initiated against the officers responsible for sanctioning the plans. If action is initiated against these officers, it will perhaps be for the first time that officers would be punished for colluding with builders.
Earlier, the urban development department had suspended two officers who were appointed to the BBMP.
The BBMP had identified 42 buildings and 13 sites which were built on ‘Rajakaluves’ or storm water drains, in areas around Rajarajeshwarinagar and south Bengaluru.
BBMP Commisioner Manjunath Prasad said that a map highlighting the city’s drain work would be uploaded on the BBMP site using GIS (Geographical Information System) to help people identify if their properties were built on storm water drains or lake beds.
“It will take a few days but we will make this map available soon,” Prasad said.