Residents stall demolition of illegal building
BBMP demolished a portion of the compound wall before learning that the High Court had ordered status quo till Mondayby Special Correspondent
Residents of a building in Puttenahalli staged a protest on Friday morning when BBMP officials, along with police and personnel from the Fire and Emergency Services, arrived with JCB machines to demolish the four-storey structure as the builder had violated the rules.
“The High Court had recently ruled that the building is illegal. It directed the BBMP to demolish the building by February 18 and submit a report on the action taken,” said Ramakrishna, Joint Commissioner, Bommanahalli zone, BBMP.
Around 25 families staged a protest to stop the demolition and pleaded with BBMP officials to reconsider their decision.
BBMP officials demolished a portion of the compound wall when they received an intimation that the High Court had directed them to maintain status quo till Monday.
“The matter will come up before the court on Monday. We will wait for the court’s directions for further action,” he added.
According to Mr. Ramakrishna, the builder allegedly took individual plan sanctions for buildings on two sites, but in order to cut down on setback and increase the floor area, he joined the buildings and constructed a structure with 25 flats. “He did not get the requisite permission but many of the flats were sold in 2015-16,” Mr. Ramakrishna added.
Residents were unaware of these violations.
“The builder Ravindra Babu cheated us. We paid around ₹50 lakh each for the flats. The builder did not even provide basic amenities,” alleged one resident.
“Even the banks who gave us home loans did not alert us of the violations during the verification process,” alleged another resident. “We have put all our life savings into our homes. If they are demolished, we have nowhere else to go.”
BBMP officials said that the violations came to light after an activist sought details on the building through a Right to Information (RTI) application. He later went to court.
Several affected families have approached the police with a cheating complaint against the builder and site owner.
“The duo are said to be absconding and have not responded to notices issued by the BBMP informing them of the demolition. “We intimated residents as per provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976,” said Mr. Ramakrishna.