Hundreds of citizens had gathered at Bangalore Town Hall to register their anger and protest against the BBMP demolitions of constructions done over Storm Water Drains (rajakaluve) and to demand justice and accountability from the government by participating in a program organised by Namma Bengaluru Foundation in partnership with ApartmentADDA on 27th August, 2016.
The panelists for the discussion, themed “Demolished by Corruption” were:
- Shri HS Doraiswamy, Senior Freedom Fighter,
- Shri Krishna, Former Speaker of Karnataka Legislative Assembly,
- Shri V Balasubramanian, Former Additional Chief Secretary of Karnataka,
Shri AT Ramaswamy, Convener, Anti Land Grabbing Action Committee,
- Shri BN Vijayakumar, Jaynagar MLA,
- Shri Sajan Poovayya, Senior Advocate, Former Additional Advocate General for Karnataka &
- Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP and Founder Trustee of NBF
The event started with a welcome note by Shri AT Ramaswamy, Convener, Anti Land Grabbing Action Committee addressing hundreds of affected residents in the recent demolition of constructions over storm water drains. He also said that the Government has been unable to protect Bengaluru from land mafia and builders lobby.
“The City needs people’s movement against corruption that has engulfed our city and I thank Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar for giving strength to this movement. Citizens silence means encouraging the corrupt officials and builders who have captured the government and the city,” said Mr. Ramaswamy.
Shri V Balasubramanian, Former Additional Chief Secretary of Karnataka pointed out that unlike any city in the world, Bengaluru depends on its lakes. If the lakes don’t survive, Bengaluru won’t survive. The government should work towards protecting the lakes of Bengaluru. He also mentioned that it’s tragic to see that the government and BBMP is itself breaching the laws that protect our lakes and build illegal construction on encroached lake beds. The government should follow the Supreme Court’s advice of creating a welfare fund out of heavy penalties, which may be imposed on erring builders who have misused the trust of homebuyers.
“The government should also look to replace corrupt officials with honest and sincere ones, who are removed from office for supporting what is right for the citizens.”, said Mr. Balasubramanian
Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Honorable MP assured the audience that he is determined to fight till the end and support people for getting compensation and justice. He appealed to all citizens to join the fight against corruption and put pressure on government to identify and take action against all corrupt officials in BBMP and guilty builders who connived to cheat the city and citizens. He also mentioned that the government must not adopt double standards and must not just target the poor and middle class while ignoring the big builders who are rich and connected. He mentioned that corrupt officials and some builders are willing partners in destruction of Bengaluru and this must be stopped and criminal prosecution against them must be initiated.
“Builders think they are the Government. People are the Government, and they have all rights to exercise their rights. I will ensure the guilty and corrupt officials will go jail.”, said Mr Chandreshekhar
Shri HS Doraiswamy, Senior Freedom Fighter, asked the Citizens not be silent witnesses to these demolitions and instead fight for their rights.
Shri BN Vijayakumar, Honorable MLA from Jayanagar, pointed out three things which has to be carried out by the Government:
- The forfeiters has to be prosecuted
- Proper compensation has to be provided to Individuals Home and Apartment owners who have been wrongly effected by the demolition drive
- Any corruption existing between the officials and builders has to be eradicated
The citizens shared their concerns and experiences over the BBMP demolitions of constructions done over Storm Water Drains (rajakaluve), during a highly interactive question and answer session and resolved to fight till the end. Citizens in large numbers signed a petition by Namma Bengaluru Foundation and Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar and pledged to move to court for justice and also launch a fight against government demanding accountability.
Post the meeting, Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) has set up Namma Bengaluru Citizens Committee (NBCC) comprising eminent citizens and legal experts. The NBCC will review all land grabs, encroachments and illegalities reported, and forward as necessary to appropriate authorities – Government agencies, media and legal action.
Citizens can now reach out to the Namma Bengaluru Citizen’s Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org and report the following:
1. Information & details of all types of land-grabs & encroachments – Storm Water Drains, Lakes, Public Land & Illegal Constructions.
2. Any Evidence of Government Officials and Politicians involved in all such illegal activities.
The Committee members will take these reported illegalities with appropriate authorities. The committee members are:
- Shri HS Doreswamy, Senior Freedom Fighter;
- Shri Krishna, Former Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly;
- Shri AT Ramaswamy, Chairman – Joint Legislature Committee on Encroachments in Bangalore Urban District;
- Shri V Balasubramanian, former Additional Chief Secretary – Government of Karnataka;
- Shri BN Vijaykumar, MLA – Jayanagar Constituency;
- Shri Prithvi Reddy, Convener, Aam Aadmi Party – Karnataka;
- Shri Sajan Poovayya, Senior Advocate, Former Additional Advocate General for Karnataka and
- Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP, Member of Parliament and Founder Trustee of Namma Bengaluru Foundation
Note: The identity of person(s) reporting issues would be kept confidential.
Do share the message with fellow Bangaloreans and with fellow apartment owners by sharing in your ADDA and let’s all fight towards building a corruption free dream city to live in.
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