Karnataka revenue minister R Ashoka and chief minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday informed the legislative council that the state government will take up 365 days of demolition drive in Bengaluru to free up the encroached storm water drains (SWD) which led to serious flooding in the city earlier this month.
The government went on to add that it will not spare even its own buildings that may have cropped up on the SWDs.
Responding to a debate on flooding in Bengaluru and other parts of the state, Ashoka said: “The state government has decided to take up merciless demolition drives throughout the year. Instructions have been given to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to carry out demolitions 365 days a year. This includes even our own Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and BBMP properties.”
Ashoka even quoted the example of a BBMP property on J C Road which has been constructed on a SWD.
“This building has been constructed atop the SWD and successive governments have been ignoring it. This time we will initiate action,” he said.
The revenue minister and CM both added that the BDA properties, which are going to be constructed in the future, will also be taken into account for not encroaching on SWDs.
Earlier, responding to questions raised by opposition leader in the council BK Hariprasad, Bommai said the government was already in the process of building fresh SWDs in the newer areas and said that responsibilities have been fixed on the civic agencies to take up cleaning of the drains on a periodic basis.
“While the primary drains will be tackled by the BWSSB, the secondary and tertiary drains will be handled by the BBMP. This responsibility has been fixed, along with a separate task force to be formed for the purpose of tackling the entire SWD connectivity with the river fronts,” said Bommai.
He said the government has decided to prepare a detailed plan to ensure that there is a seamless connectivity for the natural flow of the water.