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Urban Encroachment

BBMP yet to remove bulk of SWD encroachments

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The Hindu       05.09.2017 

BBMP yet to remove bulk of SWD encroachments

People playing at the Begur lake that overflowed following rain for the past few days, in Bengaluru on Sunday.K. MURALI KUMAR  

Of 81 acres identified, civic body has cleared only 11.21 acres that is a mere 13.8%

Over a year has passed since the July 2016 flash floods woke up the civic agencies to start adopting corrective measures. But the encroachment clearance drive that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike soon began has all but been abandoned.

Of the 81 acres identified as encroachments in the 800-km stormwater drain (SWD) network in the city, the BBMP has successfully cleared only 11.21 acres (a mere 13.8%) till date. Of the 1,953 buildings that the civic body had identified as encroachments, only 1,225 buildings have been removed.

“It is apparent why the drive fizzled out. It hit a major roadblock after they found encroachment by Ideal Homes Layout, R.R. Nagar, which had houses of VIPs, and Orion Mall,” pointed out a civic activist.

The BBMP then cited lack of surveyors deputed from the Revenue Department as an excuse to discontinue the clearance drive. The High Court, too, recently issued a set of guidelines for encroachment clearance that is also being used as a reason that slowed down the drive.

It is not just clearance of encroachments that has hit a dead-end. Even other works such as strengthening of stormwater drains and dredging do not have any great progress to boast of, citizens say. Following the recent flooding in Koramangala on Independence Day, Bengaluru Development Minister K.J. George ordered the transfer of the chief engineer of drains in the civic body, against whom even Mayor G. Padmavathi had a litany of complaints for slowing down stormwater drain works. A new chief engineer took charge two weeks ago.

BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said he would take measures to immediately restart the encroachment clearance drive after the rains cease.

“During my recent visit to HSR Layout and Koramangala, some encroachments causing a reverse flow of water have come to my notice. We will restart the drive soon,” he said.


Survey storm-water drains before taking up clearance drive: Mayor

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The Hindu        17.08.2017  

Survey storm-water drains before taking up clearance drive: Mayor

Congress councillor Ganesh Tagargunti raising a point during the monthly council meeting of Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation in Hubballi on Wednesday.Kiran Bakale  

‘Authorities being partisan’ rocks Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Council meeting

Allegations of authorities being partisan while clearing encroachments over storm-water drains and parks rocked the municipal council meeting here on Wednesday with some disgruntled Congress councillors upset with the municipal commissioner, using the opportunity to make a veiled attack on him.

After the issue was raised by Congress councillor Ganesh Tagargunti, who has been vocal in his criticism of municipal commissioner Major Siddalingayya Hiremath, several other Congress councillors joined him in accusing the authorities of being selective in their drive against encroachments.

However, the prolonged discussion on the issue ultimately ended with a resolution directing the commissioner to clear to all encroachments without any leniency.

During the discussion on the calling attention motion moved by Mr. Tagargunti, the officials failed to provide proper information on the clearance drive and sought time, which angered the councillors. An official of the Town Planning Department clarified that they had no records related to storm-water drains as they were with the Revenue Department.

His reply angered the Congress councillors further, who were waiting to target the municipal commissioner for his recent bold step of demolishing a structure being built by a government department for which the local MLA had performed bhoomi puja. They pointed out that no action had been taken up to clear structures that had come up encroaching upon the storm-water drains. Mr. Tagargunti sought to know how the commissioner was kept in the dark until the construction of the illegal structure was completed up to the ceiling level. He also questioned Mayor D.K. Chavan giving a requisition for construction of a structure on land meant for a park. Although the Mayor admitted his mistake, he said that the corporation never gave permission for the construction.

Responding to the allegations, Major Hiremath clarified that since the department concerned had gone ahead with the construction despite several warnings by the corporation, they were left with no option other than demolishing it as the structure was being built in violation of rules.

The council subsequently discussed the issue of encroachments over storm-water drains and gardens. And ultimately Mr. Chavan issued a ruling directing the officials to conduct survey of storm-water drains with the help of officials of the Department of Survey and Land Records before taking up the clearance drive.


GHMC resorts to geotagging of government lands to curb encroachments

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The New Indian Express          20.05.2017  

GHMC resorts to geotagging of government lands to curb encroachments

By S Bachan Jeet Singh  |  Express News Service  |   Published: 20th May 2017 05:51 AM  |  

Last Updated: 20th May 2017 05:51 AM  |   A+A-   |  

HYDERABAD: The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has drawn plans to keep a check against unscrupulous elements applying for building permissions online on encroached government lands with the help of geotagging.

The move is designed to protect water bodies and lands related to endowment, Wakf and urban land ceiling. GHMC will geotag the details of all the government lands in the twin cities with the help of Hyderabad district administration to have a clear idea about the ownership of the lands under GHMC. Rangareddy and Medchal districts have already geotagged all revenue land records data pertaining to their districts.

The main idea is that if persons, who apply for building permission online for government lands or in Full Tank Level (FTL) of water bodies, they can be caught when he files the survey numbers.

If the survey number matches with that of government land data geotagged in the system, they will get rejected. Geotagging would put an end to manual applications and having to attend offices. GHMC said that the move would stop land sharks. Land sharks would submit fake documents and bribes to town planning section had obtained building permissions on  government lands.

Since Oct 2016, GHMC has stopped accepting manual applications both for buildings and has put in place Online Building Approval System (DPMS). But separate data on lands concerned has not been uploaded or geotagged in the DPMS online system as it does not have properdata. Survey numbers are being sought from the district administration. 

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