IT park as per sanctioned plan, says Wipro amid eviction drive in Bengaluru

IT park as per sanctioned plan, says Wipro amid eviction drive in Bengaluru

Multinational company Wipro on Wednesday issued a statement saying that its IT park in Doddakannelli locality of Bengaluru has been constructed as per the sanctioned plan, even as the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) continued its eviction drive in the city.

The statement comes after the building was put on the list of illegal constructions over stormwater drains in the city.

“Wipro abides by the laws of every jurisdiction where it does business and adheres to the highest standards of integrity. The Wipro campus in Doddakannelli is as per sanctioned plan. We have not received any notice from BBMP,” the company stated.

The municipal body has identified at least 15 encroachments by various builders and IT parks in Mahadevapura zone. As per the notification issued on August 17 , the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had identified properties that have been built in Mahadevapura zone and blocked the water flow on stormwater drains (SWD).

The properties that were listed in the notification include Wipro, Bagmane Tech Park, Rainbow Drive Layout, Eco Space, Gopalan in Bellandur, Hoodi and Sonnehalli, Diya School, Adarsha, Columbia Asia Hospital, New Horizon College, Adarsha retreat, Epysion and DiyaShree, Prestige, Salarpuria and Adarsha and Nalapad.

Continuing with its eviction drive, the BBMP on Wednesday demolished several structures in the city’s Mahadevpura zone. According to BBMP, while demolition is complete in the Papaiah Reddy layout, 50% of the work is left in Challaghatta and 25% in Shantiniketan layout and Vagdevi layout. Marking is yet to be done in the stretches: Sadarmangala lake to Bellathur, Doddakannahalli lake to Soul kere, Sheelvant kere to TZED apartment and Pattandur agrahara kere to Nallurhalli.

The BBMP, however, halted its anti-encroachment drive at Bagmane Tech Park, following a Karnataka Lokayukta order to follow due legal procedures before demolishing properties.

The directive follows a complaint by Bagmane Developers Pvt Ltd on Saturday. BBMP had earlier marked encroachments at the Bagmane Tech Park for demolition.

BBMP chief commissioner Tushar Giri Nath said the drive was halted after the Lokayukta took cognizance of the complaint and further action would be taken as per the Lokayukta’s directions. ”As this process needs some time, while both parties are advised to cooperate with each other in ensuring that the work is undertaken in right earnest and expeditiously, this matter needs to be adjourned by three weeks,” the order read.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka high court has stated that the recent flooding in parts of Bengaluru was a result of the municipal corporation’s failure to remove encroachments from water bodies and stormwater drainage systems.

“The city of Bengaluru has faced unprecedented floods and parts of the city were inundated with rainwater. The aforesaid situation has arisen as the BBMP has failed to perform its statutory duties of removal of encroachments,” a bench of acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Vishwajith Shetty said.

The bench referred to a June 18, 2019 order of the court to remove encroachments, and ordered immediate action when informed that the order had not been complied with.

“We direct the authorities of the state government as well as authorities of BBMP to take immediate steps for the removal of all encroachments on stormwater drains immediately and to submit an up-to-date status report and take steps to ensure prevention of dumping of all kinds of waste and other pollutants into stormwater drains in this regard on or before the next date of hearing,” the bench said while posting the matter to next month.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka cabinet on Wednesday held an unofficial discussion about stormwater drains (SWD) and ways in which the problem of their encroachments can be contained and a permanent solution to flooding in Bengaluru found.

“The chief minister has already decided that something needs to be done to sort out SWD issues in at least four assembly constituencies,” said one person directly aware of the developments, requesting not to be named.

There was no official briefing from the government as the session is currently in progress.

The person cited above said that the government will also file caveats in courts to ensure that the drive is not stopped without the administration providing its version of the encroachments.

The statements come at a time when recent rains have brought Bengaluru to its knees, forcing people out of their homes and leaving a trail of destruction on account of flooding in several parts of India’s IT capital. Most of the flooding was reported from Mahadevapura, Bommanahalli and the eastern zone of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP, the city’s civic body) among other places, displacing hundreds from their homes.

In the assembly, former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy pulled up the government for its action against alleged encroachers but turning a blind eye on officials who approved these layouts, housing societies and other buildings. “According to you (government), the chief minister gave instructions to clear encroachments on August 30. Why did the officials who were aware of this not take action earlier? What were they doing all these days or did they suddenly attain enlightenment?” Kumaraswamy asked.

“People who put all their savings into building a house were misled by developers who sold land in collusion with officials. What action will you take against these officials? What will be fate of people whose homes are demolished?” he asked.

Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai said in the assembly, “There are people who developed these buildings in which there are IT/BT companies. We will not make any discrimination and remove all encroachments.”

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