’Merciless’ action against encroachers: Siddaramiah


Bengaluru: As an encroachment clearance drive is underway in several parts of the city hit by inundation due to usurpation of storm water drains, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said action will be taken "mercilessly" against the violators.

"However influential or big they may be, merciless action will be taken against all those who have encroached upon storm water drains, whether they are builders or developers," he told reporters after paying floral tributes to former Chief Minister Nijalingappa on his 16th death anniversary.

Siddaramaiah had ordered Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (city civic body) officials to clear encroachments on storm water drains, after the city witnessed flooding in several parts due to heavy incessant rains last week.

Reacting to allegations that the pathway of storm water drains has been diverted from places where buildings owned by influential people were situated, the chief minister said, "allegations should be made if there is any evidence."

Admitting that mistakes have been done by officials also, Siddaramaiah said action will be initiated against them too.

"An inquiry has been ordered and action will be taken against officials who have been involved in illegal constructions and encroachments," he added.

Recently, incessant rains had inundated streets, crippling normal life in several parts of the city. Overflowing lakes and drainage systems coupled with uprooted trees compounded the people’s woes.

Low lying areas, particularly Kodichikkanahalli and Bilekahalli, where water entered houses, were worst affected.

Pointing out that encroachments and illegal constructions had taken place during the previous regime, Siddaramaiah warned if encroachments were not cleared, Bengaluru may have to witness a Chennai-like situation.

"Clearing of encroachments may cause problems to some people, but larger public interest should be kept in mind. Whoever it is, they will have to function in accordance with the law," he said.

On Saturday, the BBMP had begun the demolition drive at Avani Sringeri Nagar in Bommanahalli, Kasavanahalli in Mahadevapura and Shivanahalli in Yelahanka.

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