Now, a Property Records card, seriously #WTFnews


Now, a Property Records card
K. SUKUMARAN
April 12, 2013, The Hindu
The Survey and Settlement Department plans to issue it to each property in urban areas. Details from K. Sukumaran
Perhaps, there is no other sector of the Indian economy other than the real estate ownership document sub-segment which has undergone many avatars. There are, in fact, multiple authorities who claim administrative powers over land, building, roads, etc., but no authority or official takes full and complete responsibility to certify the ownership rights of any property in its entirety. While the Transfer of Property Act, 1982 can be considered a basic legislation dealing with the sector, many other Central and State legislations, like Land Ceiling and Registration Act, 1976, Urban property Act/s, Urban Development Authorities Act/s etc., all over the country have spread their jurisdiction only in parts over property.
Whatever be the legislations governing various areas of the property sector, and ownership thereof, the maintenance of records and documentation till recently has not been receiving an integrated approach. With the increasing number of transactions in property consequent to large scale investments, the need for ‘documenting’ the property records have come to be a critical aspect of legislative measures.
For years together, there has been no attempt by the executive wing to systematise the process of land record keeping.
Possession and enjoyment, tax paid receipts, khata, gift/partition and sale deeds have been considered enough evidence of primary ownership. These, together with the record of encumbrances, support ownership rights. However, no single document is in itself sufficient proof of title and ownership. And, no single authority can bestow the title to any one. A change to this concept came about after digitalisation of property records in Karnataka under the ‘bhumi’ project, which also can generate a khata ‘online’ on remitting the prescribed fee.
The latest attempt in the field is of documentation is the proposal of the Survey and Settlement Department of the Karnataka Government to issue a Property Records Card to each item of property in all urban areas. The P.R. Card will have six pages. There will be a property section which gives details of the property.
The ownership section will give details of ownership, such as name of the owners from time to time, their addresses etc. There will also be a ‘burden’ section, a ‘security’ section, and a cadastral section, viz., map showing the area, dimension, etc. The last section will have an overview map of the location of the property in a locality. The Card will be mandatory for all property-related transactions.
The project will be introduced in the BBMP area. Out of 198 wards, 50 wards will be taken up in the first phase. Like in the case of Aadhar cards, the services of private agencies may be utilised at a cost of, say, Rs. 400 or Rs. 500 per card.
Keywords: Property Records card, real estate ownership document

 

#Bangalore- NHRC notice to Chief Secretary on evictions from Ejipura


STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu

 

A child, given food by an NGO, runs to the gigantic pipe that doubles as his home in the wake of the demolition at Ejipura, Bangalore, in January this year. File Photo: Bhagya Prakash. K

The HinduA child, given food by an NGO, runs to the gigantic pipe that doubles as his home in the wake of the demolition at Ejipura, Bangalore, in January this year. File Photo: Bhagya Prakash. K

It takes cognisance of media report on health problems of those ousted

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath on the forced eviction of residents of Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) shanty town by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in Ejipura in January this year.

A communiqué received in Bangalore on Monday said that the NHRC has taken cognisance of a media report, forwarded by non-governmental organisations, alleging serious health problems being faced by about 2,000 people who were evicted.

Report sought

The Chief Secretary has been directed to submit a report within four weeks on the eviction, steps taken to rehabilitate the evicted people, besides informing the commission about the steps taken to provide basic amenities such as food, drinking water, sanitation and health facilities upholding the evictees’ human rights.

The NHRC noted that 200 evicted families have made their temporary homes on the periphery of the area from where they were ousted. “They have not been provided with any basic facilities. Diarrheal diseases, infections and other forms of water and air-borne diseases are rampant. There are no proper water, sanitation and toilet facilities,” it has said.

The commission had taken cognisance of the forced eviction and harassment of victims by police.

A notice was issued to the Chief Secretary and Director-General and Inspector-General of Police early this year and the issue is under consideration.

Meanwhile, a fact-finding report by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties – Karnataka, and Housing and Land Rights Network – Delhi, found that the human rights of the urban poor had been violated. The government and its agencies have breached the Constitution, national laws and policies, orders of the Supreme Court and international law, including the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-based Evictions and Displacement.

Illegal land use

The report, a copy of which is with The Hindu, notes that the public-private partnership between the BBMP and Maverick Holdings is illegal because the land that was designated for “public purpose”, namely housing for economically weaker sections, has been converted into commercial use for the gain of a private entity. The BBMP has flouted its own resolution (passed in 2005) recognising the rights of the residents to permanent housing and assured them of in-situ resettlement.

The demands

The fact-finding team has demanded that the government recognise and uphold the “right to the city” of the urban poor — who contribute to the city — as their inalienable right, besides ordering a judicial enquiry into the evictions, demolitions and public-private partnership. The government should also provide immediate and adequate rehabilitation to all the evicted residents, irrespective of whether they are original allottees or tenants. The other demands include compensation to all victims, dissolve the illegal public-private partnership, and take action against BBMP and police officials responsible for the violence and attack on residents and activists.

 

#India- Economically weaker section evictees face serious health problem


 

ByRhik Kundu, TNN | Feb 15, 2013,

 

BANGALORE: A month since over 2000 people in the EWS ( economically weaker sections) quarters of Ejipura were rendered homeless by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike‘s (BBMP) eviction drive, serious health and hygiene issues have surfaced in the peripheries of the area where over 200 evicted families have made temporary homes.

 

Diarrheal diseases, infections and other form of water borne and air borne disease, apart from severe mental trauma, are rampant at present says doctors attending patients from the area.

 

“There are no proper water or sanitation facilities available to them,” said Dr Sylvia Karpagam, co-convener, Karnataka chapter of Janaarogya Andolana, or People’s Health Movement network, who has been working with the homeless since the eviction was carried out last month.

 

“Several human rights of these helpless people – like right to water, right to dignity of life – were abolished by a single court order. This used to be a healthy community. Now they are struggling with diseases and have lost all confidence on the state to protect them,” Dr Karpagam added.

 

A visit to the slums in the periphery of the EWS quarters exposes the plight of the helpless people who seem to have lost everything. Families of five to six are seen living in makeshift homes that merely fits two persons. The area stinks of filth as there’s neither proper sanitation nor toilet facility. And then many say that they have been hungry for days at a stretch because they haven’t been able to get back to their regular jobs – mostly menial jobs that of domestic help, and labouring -as some have sustained severe injuries since the aftermaths of demolitions which they claim have been inflicted upon them by police and government officials while others are too scared to venture out in fear of losing their temporary homes.

 

“Our houses were demolished when we were at the Adugodi police station. We were taken there so that we didn’t see our houses getting bulldozed,” said Shabina Taj, who’s been living at the EWS for the past 25 years.

 

Showing her plastered right foot, Shabina wonders why she and others were thrown out their homes despite having proper documents for their houses and later manhandled by police and officials.

“I was even arrested while protesting when I asked them to give me two months time to evict my house so that my children can finish their academic year in peace. Now I don’t have any house, and I have sent my children away, and I can’t even go to work because of my injured foot,” she woes.

Meanwhile, several former residents of EWS told this correspondent that volunteers, from the civil society, who were trying to provide them with food and water, were often threatened by officials while carrying out their relief work. TOI couldn’t independently verify this report. But, this hasn’t changed their mind to move out from the area.

 

“I have been living here for 22 years now, and I can’t be forced to leave as I have the proper documents verifying my claim to my house,” said Vijayalakshmi, a domestic help, who had earlier threatened the authorities that she would immolate herself in an act of protest.

 

Showing her injuries, which she claimed to have got from the police, the lady added,

 

“I have been promised a house by BBMP but I am yet to hear from them. I will not leave this place as long as justice is delivered to me.”

 

Among the evicted many have found refuge in the most unlikely of places like temples and bus stops, but they haven’t given up their dreams of getting their homes back yet.

 

“I am all alone since my daughter and son have married and moved away. My husband is suffering from a mental illness for the last 40 years,” said 75-year-old Shanti.

 

“All I want is a house where I can die peacefully,” she added.

 

Medha Patkar visit EWS

Social activist Medha Patkar, who visited the Ejipura EWS quarters on Thursday, said that the issue will be taken up to a higher level with the help of senior lawyers like Sanjay Parikh and Prashant Bhushan. The Narmada Bachao Andolan veteran, who was supposed to arrive at the location at about 1.15 pm, finally made her way at about 2.40 pm, and interacted with residents and the deprived lot of the area.

 

“What has happened here is clearly an example of land grabbing by the Maverick Holdings and Investments Private Limited. The demolished site sprawling across 15 acres of the land is worth about Rs 3,500 crore. It is indeed a robbery of Rs 3500 crore from state exchequer. What the state government has done is completely against the constitution and the judiciary has been misbriefed about the land dispute case,” she said.

 

 

 

#Bangalore- Freedom miles, for artist Swar Thounaojam @Feb 8th #Vaw #sexualharassment


You’ve probably heard of Freedom Miles, a series of interactive walks being held in various neighbourhoods of Bangalore (and elsewhere, when possible) initiated by the For Gender Justice group, a coalition of individuals, networks, organizations, institutions et al, that defend human rights.
Freedom Miles tomorrow 8th Feb 2013 as planned. will be at Basavangudi.

Assemble by 4.45 pm and start at 5 pm sharp. We should finish covering the distance (which I think is about 3 kms) in one hour’s time.

 Feb8 th, Fridays activity is primarily in support of Swar Thounaojam, a Bangalore based theatre artist who was slapped by a traffic policeman and sexually harassed by a crowd of around 40 men after she met with an accident on Dec-5 2012 near Netkalappa circle on DVG road in Basavangudi.
The Bangalore police refuses to apologize for the incident or act against the offenders although 2 FIR’s was registered. And, the errant constable filed a counter complaint falsifying the charges. Eyewitnesses to the incident whom some of us met a few weeks later, appreciated Swar’s courageous response and condemned the police (in)action. But, unsurprisingly they refuse to testify against the accused.
Please join the event and/or fwd. this message widely.
CONTACT- forgenderjustice.blr@gmail.com

 

#India -Illegal eviction of Five Thousand People at EWS Quarters, Ejipura, Bangalore #NHRC


 

 

Justice K.G.Balakrishnan,

Hon’ble Chairperson,

National Human Right Commission.

 

Date : January 31, 2012

 

Dear Sir,

 

            Sub : Illegal eviction of Five Thousand People at EWS Quarters, Ejipura, Bangalore

 

Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore’s local government along with the police demolished around 1200 tin-sheds , evicting 5000 slum dwellers  at the economically weaker sections (EWS) quarters in Ejipura from 18-21 January, 2013. About 1200 women and 2000 children were affected by this action. The four-day demolition drive razed around 900 tin-sheds that were erected at the quarters more than 11 years ago. No written notice was served to the residents. The demolition was accompanied by violent police action which included pulling people out of their homes when they pleaded for the house not to be destroyed ; lathi-charge of women and elders who resisted the demolition and the arrest of twenty one women[1] [1].

 

Since the night of 18th January, hundreds of families have been living out in the open, braving the cold. Toilets in the area have been demolished, water supply has been cut and there is absolutely no shelter provided. Senior citizens, children and pregnant women in the area  have been living in the open with serious risk to their health. Rosemary (60) one of the thousands rendered homeless by the eviction , died on the evening of January 22, after spending nearly three days out in the open. Her daughter says the death was a direct consequence of the demolition stating that she had barely eaten anything in the last few days[2].

 

People have been promised houses in Sulekunte village along Sarjapur Road. Sulekunte village is on the outskirts of Bangalore some 15 kms away from EWS quarters. The long distance means that residents would have to spend a lot for their commute to the city daily, for work. Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) is supposed to build apartments for the 900 families in a 5-acre plot there. This may take any time between 1-3 years. Until then the government has failed to provide any alternative arrangements, even temporary, for the evicted people. BBMP claims that it is not responsible in providing interim relief to only 1512 original allottees and not the tenants and sub-tenants living at the quarters.

 

These actions are infringement of fundamental rights of the residents of Ejipura as the government has failed to abide by its constitutional obligations to guarantee the ‘Right to shelter’ and ‘Right to life and livelihood’ to its citizens.

 

Background:

In 1992, the Ejipura Quarters were built for policemen but were rejected by them as the quality of construction was very poor and even basic facilities like water and sanitation were not provided. The civic agency then allotted the quarters to the EWS. Many allottees continued to live in those poor conditions while some of the allottees rented it out to others who were in a worse off position than them. Thus, these buildings housed a number of poor people who were allotted the house and some very poor families, who stayed on rent in these blocks. Due to poor quality of construction of the EWS quarters, some of the blocks started cracking and collapsed in 2002, killing 3 people. Later, all the blocks even though experts ruled that with repairs, theywould be safe for living. Since then, many have been living in common tin sheds by the side of the demolished quarters.

 

Earlier in 2005, the BBMP passed a resolution to provide housing on the same land for all residents, including those it now dismisses as “illegal occupants” or “squatters”. In 2006, the BBMP had issued guritina cheetis/hakku patras (rights/identification certificates) to the people who were on rent from the original allotttees. These are the people whoim the BBMP now terms as encroachers.

 

Later, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) between BBMP and Maverick Holdings was signed to develop the land. As part of the joint development agreement half of the land is to be used for the construction of 1,512 EWS apartments. The other half will be used by Maverick Holdings to construct the mall. Eviction of residents for the project has been stalled several times since its inception with residents and rights groups staging protests, alleging that it smacks of a land scam.Incidentally Maverick Holdings are also the beneficiaries of another Joint Venture Programme on Magrath Road, which was initiated as multiple car park but instead got developed into the Garuda Shopping Mall. Complaints have been lodged against the said project and the said company before the Lokayukta that is seized of the matter presently (Case no.426/2008 with Karnataka Lokayukta).

 

Pursuant to this, the original allottees filed a case in High Court which ruled last August that BBMP and Maverick should go ahead with the project and that only original allottees should be given the new flats. Court also ordered Maverick Holdings to pay Rs. 30,000 to the original allottees still staying in the quarters, as compensation and ordered BBMP to provide rehabilitation for 1512 original allottees, except those who have accepted compensation, at Iglur on Hosur Road. It authorised BBMP to evict/eject all occupants from the site and if necessary taking aid/assistance of police force. Unfortunately, the order did not hear the people who were on rent and disregarded that those who are staying on rent for more than 15 years and, in turn, disregarding their right to housing on basis of perpetuity. (Writ Petition 45915/2011)

Later the people who were on rent, approached the Karnataka High Court(Writ Petition 42743/12) asking that the order in (Writ Petition 45915/2011) be stayed. The Karnataka High Court is still hearing the matter and even as it is doing so, BBMP and the police carried out these demolitions.

It is unfortunate that in a country where the housing rights of millions are not met, land m,eant for housing for the economically weaker sections is being used to build a mall. Utilization of public lands by the Government is controlled by the Public Doctrine and the Joint Venture defeats the public trust doctrine inasmuch as it allows the Private third party to extract profit from the public land which was meant for the housing of poor and vulnerable sections of society. It is pertinent to note that the land has been earmarked for the construction of houses for economically weaker section, and it was for this purpose that the EWS quarters was constructed, and the present Joint Venture takes away from the sanctioned character of the land.

BBMP’s Agreement with the Private builder is unreasonable, arbitrary, unfair and opposed to public policy, public interest and the public trust doctrine.

 

 

When on the one hand the efforts of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is to respect and realise the constitutional rights of the urban homeless, this demolition of the EWS slum, stands at cross-purposes with these efforts. It is just and necessary that immediate steps be taken to ensure that the displaced families have proper shelter, access to basic and other services.

 

Action Requested

We request the National Human Rights Commission to immediately look into this issue and ensure that the rights of the affected people are restored. We requerst the commission to direct the Government of Karnataka to –

1.       Conduct a an enquiry on the gross human rights violations  by the state  authorities during the demolition and eviction drive and

conduct a public hearing on the whole issue.

2.       Provide immediate housing or basic shelter in the same spot or at least in the same area.

3.       Grant compensation to all victims for injuries caused to them and damaging their belongings.

4.       Scrap the current PPP project and houses for all the original allottees and current residents to be provided in the same spot.

 

We request your urgent action in this matter to address the mammoth humanitarian crisis .

 

Yours Sincerely,

Isaac Arul Selva

Karnataka Slum Janandolana

 

Prabahakar R

Dalit and Minorities Land Protecttion Forum

 

Medha Patkar

National Alliance of People’s Movements

 

Death has gone visiting at the EWS Quarters, Bangalore #Vaw


MAULED

BY BASAVARAJ ITNAL , http://www.talkmag.in

Bangalore is losing prime public land to a builder with a track record of contract deviation. The crisis at the EWS Quarters site in Koramangala shows yet again how politicians and officials readily sacrifice citizens’ interests to favour themselves and their friends

You could see it as a dark joke. Or as a poignant drama in which the rich and the powerful, hungry for profits, drive out thousands of poor people from their ramshackle dwellings. It is all this, and more.

 

Death has gone visiting at the EWS Quarters, built by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike in Ejipura, adjoining Koramangala, many times. In 2004, one of the 42 blocks collapsed, killing three residents. When the monsoons arrived in 2007- 08, another block collapsed, claiming three people, including a child. The latest casualty is a woman who reportedly died of shock after the eviction on Wednesday.

 

In the last 10 years, BBMP could have built new houses for the poor on the same expanse, but it dragged its feet, with the sole intention of evicting residents and handing over the land to a private developer. The company that has benefited from the BBMP’s delay tactics is Maverick Holdings and Investment Pvt Ltd, the same company that built the Garuda Mall in the upmarket MG Road-Brigade Road area.

 

Everyone who matters in the BBMP, the police department and the Vidhana Soudha knows Maverick Holdings has hoodwinked the government by grabbing four acres, which it got for free to build a public car park, to build Garuda Mall.

 

While at it, Maverick broke a few building bylaws, evaded stamp duty, and faced a Lokayukta inquiry. A more upright administration would have blacklisted them from future projects. But, even as citizens watched in disbelief, the BBMP has again entrusted 15 acres of prime land in Koramangala to this company with an untrustworthy track record.

 

The Garuda Mall story

 

In 2000, when the SM Krishna government convened its Global Investor Summit, the concept of public-private partnership (PPP) was mooted in the infrastructure sector. The BBMP invited tenders to build a multi-level public car park on a four-acre plot. The land, in the heart of the city, was being used as a lorry workshop by the municipal corporation.

 

The BBMP gave the land to Maverick for free, on the grounds that they were participating in a public infrastructure project. The developer was to build a car park and collect user fees for 30 years to recover their investment. Amidst reports of manipulation in bidding, Maverick won the contract and promised to build the car park according to the contractual terms.

 

But from 2000 to 2004, BBMP modified the terms of contract at the behest of Maverick, permitting them to create commercial space alongside the car park, and also to build a multiplex (now functional) and a business class hotel (yet to come up). In December 2004, the then Chief Minister N Dharam Singh inaugurated a swanky mall, which The Week magazine ranked as No 1 in the country. The public purpose behind the project had been completely defeated. It had now become a fully commercial project.

 

In effect, the citizens of Bangalore lost prime land to a builder, while parking continued to be a problem. During the construction, Maverick also encroached on 3,465 sq ft of public land. When the BBMP council raised the issue, Maverick said it would pay a penalty and regularise the deviations when the Akrama Sakrama scheme came into force. The scheme, which seeks to collect fines and legitimise violations, has encouraged large-scale deviations and turned urban planning into a farce.

 

Maverick and the BBMP signed their joint venture agreement on a Rs 200 stamp paper, while the stamp duty they owed the government exceeded Rs 1 crore. The Inspector-General of Registrations impounded the document in 2008

 

 

The EWS Quarters story

 

One of the mandates for the BBMP is to provide housing for the urban poor. In 1992, the BBMP said it would build flats for the economically weaker sections. It borrowed money from HUDCO, identified 15 acres it owned opposite the National Games Village in Koramangala, and drew up a plan. Forty-two blocks with 36 flats in each were built and went into the hands of beneficiaries identified by the BBMP. The police department, for whom it was first offered,turned it down, saying the construction was substandard. The final buyers paid a subsidised price, and the municipal authorities facilitated soft loans.

 

But within a year, the buildings developed cracks and looked run-down. The BBMP paid Rs 5,000 to each flat owner towards repairs. After a year, part of a block collapsed and the government constituted an expert committee to look into the quality of construction. The committee reported that the quality was dismal, and the blocks might collapse any moment. Clearly, people were risking life and limb by staying there. A callous BBMP did not initiate any action against engineers and contractors responsible for the poor quality of the construction.

 

Instead, incredibly, the BBMP decided to demolish all the blocks and build new flats. The government objected, asking how the new blocks would be funded. In reply, the BBMP said it would adopt the PPP route! The BBMP was entitled to recover the full cost from the contractor in addition to a penalty. It was dutybound to punish the engineer who allowed the contractor to get away with sub-standard work. But no, the BBMP was in a hurry to strike a deal with the private sector.

 

Maverick makes an entry

 

In 2004, the BBMP invited bids for the reconstruction of the EWS Quarters. The developer was to build single-room flats for the poor on five acres. To recover his costs, he would be allowed to build a mall in rest of the land, stretching to about 10 acres.

 

More than 30 bidders participated in the tender process, and three were shortlisted— Maverick Holdings, Akruthi Builders and IDEB. The Mumbai-based Akruthi Builders was the preferred bidder, according to an evaluation made by the Infrastructure Development Corporation of Karnataka (IDeCK). The BBMP opened the bids, but allowed Maverick to make a handwritten alteration to claim it was better than Akruthi. A dispute arose, and the BBMP referred the bids to three consultants. Maverick was favoured by two.

 

Eventually, in October 2006, the BBMP council passed a resolution favouring Maverick. Akruthi Builders challenged it in the Karnataka High Court, which stayed the project. In 2008, during President’s rule, the Karnataka government appealed to the High Court, promising it would act fairly if the court vacated the stay. The court obliged. Subsequently, the project was cancelled by the Governor’s executive committee.

 

Akruthi Builders continued to contest the case. After two years of litigation, the High Court ruled in favour of Maverick not after hearing the case, but on technical grounds. By then, BS Yeddyurappa had become the chief minister, and his first cabinet meeting approved the project in favour of Maverick.

 

Akruthi Builders filed a writ appeal only to withdraw it a few days later.

 

Who is Maverick?

 

Maverick Holdings and Investments Pvt Ltd is a company headed by former Karnataka Director-General of Police B N Garudachar. His son Uday Garudachar is its Managing Director. Other directors include family. Its office is on KR Road in Basavangudi.

 

The loose ends

 

  • The BBMP has entered into a joint venture with Maverick without the consent of the owners of the flats
  • The BBMP has not penalised or recovered costs from the contractors who first built sub-standard quarters.
  • The municipal authorities have not explored the possibility of building flats on their own.
  • The BBMP has not taken into account the poor track record of Maverick while awarding the project.

I sympathise with the poor families. We are aware of what Mavreick Holdings has done in the case of Garuda Mall. The EWS project has seen a six-year legal battle. It may be difficult to change or cancel the deal as many governments have approved it. I appeal to Bangalore citizens to give us suggestions on what we can do in this matter.

 

           

                                                                                                                                                                                           D Venkatesha Murthy,  Mayor

                                                                                                                                                                               

 

We are simply following a High Court order, which asks us to vacate the land so that Maverick Holdings can start construction. As far as their track record on Garuda Mall is concerned, we cannot comment. Both the government and the High Court have allowed them to participate in the EWS Quarters joint venture.

 

                                                   

                                                                                                                                                    H Siddaiah,  BBMP Commissioner

                                                                                                                                              

 

                                                                                                                        

 

 

 

More houses razed at Ejipura in Bangalore #slum demolitions


DEEPA KURUP, The Hindu, Jan 21,2013

By the end of the evening, more houses had been razed, leaving only a short row of the tin-sheet tenements standing.
By the end of the evening, more houses had been razed, leaving only a short row of the tin-sheet tenements standing.

Only a few rows of tin-roofed tenements remain now

On Sunday morning, after spending the night out in the cold, thousands of residents of the EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) Quarters here in Ejipura managed to stall four earth movers making way into their shantytown. But hours later, post noon, the bulldozers — under the supervision of policemen and a BBMP official — moved in and demolished a large chunk of what was left of the quarters, where at least 2,000 families lived.

By the end of the evening, more houses had been razed, leaving only a short row of the tin-sheet tenements standing.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike claimed that the “entire area will be cleared out by Monday”. With nowhere to go, hundreds of families bundled up their belongings, stacked up their television sets and bedding in a row, and cooked out in the open. Even clean drinking water is a challenge, given that water supply and electricity to the area were cut-off four days ago, they said.

The BBMP says, and it has submitted to court, that it has offered rehabilitation, including accommodation and Rs. 30,000, to those living there.

However, the money has gone to 1,512 original allottees, of which barely over 120 are residents here. The rest of the tenants — at least 1,600 families that have been given BBMP “hakku patras” — have been left in the lurch. This shantytown is being brought down to make way for a glitzy mall developed by Maverick Holding and Investment Pvt. Ltd. and a residential complex for the 1,512 allottees co-developed by the civic body.

The crowded thoroughfares here are replete with tales of false promises, deceit and corruption. Sahai Mary, who works as domestic help in the National Games Village complex nearby, says that in 2004 they were given “hakku patras” promising them homes. “Every election, politicians have promised us homes. Where are all of them now?” she asks. Sahai Mary, a single mother of three, alleged that even the local youth association was “bought over”.

In fact, the BBMP council had, in 2005, passed a resolution that it would provide alternative accommodation to all the residents here. Residents say that a few months ago men who claimed to represent the area MLA showed them land in Anekal, which turned out to be privately owned by a businessman.

Sahai Mary points out that all her children will lose their school year if they move far from here, and rents in the area for a one-room tenement start at Rs. 5,000 with an advance payment starting at Rs. 50,000.

“How can we afford that much money?” asks Ameena Begum, 45, whose daughter was among the 23 arrested by the police on Saturday. Most of them pay between Rs. 500 and 700 for their rooms. They point out that most owners, who have taken the BBMP’s “interim settlement”, are yet to return their security deposits.

Traumatic episode

And if the trauma of losing their homes was not enough, these residents have been living in fear for the past week. Manikandan (30), a mason, says he hasn’t slept since the demolition drive started because every night “rowdies” would appear past midnight, sometimes extorting money from old women, and at other times, simply threatening them to leave.

Shanthamma (56), who lives with her mentally-challenged son, weeps inconsolably as she narrates how on Friday night they forced her to part with her life’s savings of Rs. 5,000.

She insists on showing her ration card, Aadhaar documents and voter identity card to prove that she is indeed a resident.

B.T. Ramesh, engineer-in-chief, BBMP, said that the High Court of Karnataka had ordered the evacuation. He said that the BBMP had tried to build temporary sheds in Sarjapur, but the plans were thwarted by a senior Minister.

Asked about the allegations that he had vested interests in the Rs. 2,000-crore project, he said: “Even the tendering has not begun. It’s all false. Moreover, we have been warning them [about eviction] since October.”

 

#Bangalore 50-60 women beaten, arrested at EWS Colony this morning, protesting demolition by BBMP #Vaw


50-60 women beaten, arrested at EWS Colony, Ejipura this morning, protesting demolition by BBMP.

Chaos in EWS colony as BBMP starts demolition

STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu

Residents on prime land tense as some more huts are razed

UNSURE FUTURE:Will a permanent, secure house for them remain a pipe dream? Ejipura residents watch the bulldozers at work in Bangalore on Friday.— PHOTO: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.

UNSURE FUTURE:Will a permanent, secure house for them remain a pipe dream? Ejipura residents watch the bulldozers at work in Bangalore on Friday.— PHOTO: SAMPATH KUMAR G.P.

Utter confusion prevailed on Friday in the Ejipura housing colony for economically weaker sections as bulldozers hired by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) once again entered the area with the police in tow. Unsure about the target of the earthmoving machinery, many residents started running helter-skelter even as others stood their ground and entered into verbal duels with the officials.

“I don’t know if they will demolish my hut this time. Where will I go if they do?” wailed M. Syeda (40) who has three children and a disabled husband to feed. At least two dozen huts were demolished in Friday’s operation.

Piecemeal demolitions

Demolitions in the colony have been happening on a piecemeal basis over the last few months with similar waves of police and BBMP officials entering the area and retreating after razing a few dozen huts.

“Each time they come, we don’t know which line of huts they will target,” explained Mutthu Kumar (37), one of the residents of this colony, which is majorly comprised of Dalits and minorities.

The 15 acres and 22 guntas of land on which the shantytown is located is slated for the construction of a mall as well as higher quality tenements for the original residents. As part of a joint development agreement that the BBMP entered into with Maverick Holdings and Investment Pvt. Ltd., half of the land will be used for the construction of 1,512 EWS apartments. The other half will be used by Maverick Holdings to construct the mall. Eviction of residents for the project has been stalled several times since its inception with residents and rights groups staging protests, alleging that it smacks of a land scam.

Biometric cards

Even as tension prevailed at one end of the colony on Friday, another group of BBMP officials continued to issue biometric cards to the residents under a makeshift tent. These cards, the officials said, will help the evicted residents lay claim to the new houses that are planned as a replacement for the present tin-roof structures.

The main concern of the residents, however, is what they will do until the new houses are built. “Some officials are saying the new houses will take a year. Others are saying it will take three years. We are scared and confused,” said B. Selvi (65).

Some of the residents here are original allottees while others are tenants of the original allottees. The replacement flats on the same spot are planned for original allottees whereas the tenants, most of who have been living here for the last decade, have been assured of a colony at Sarjapur.

As the demolition progressed in Ejipura, one group of residents trooped to the BBMP headquarters and staged a snap protest. “In view of the upcoming school and college examinations, we want the BBMP to give the residents another two months to vacate,” said Amruthraj Isaac, one of the activists who led the agitation.

 

Immediate Release- Evicting the Poor at EWS Quarters, Ejipura, Bangalore


Press Release

 

Evicting the Poor at EWS Quarters, Ejipura, Bangalore

 

PUCL-Bangalore strongly condemns the illegitimate move by BBMP to

forcefully evict residents of the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) slum in Ejipura, Koramangala by switching off their water supply, blocking their common toilet facilities and  not collecting garbage – which is now piling up there.

 

In a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Maverick Holdings Ltd, BBMP exchanged eight of the fifteen acres of the original EWS land, for construction of 1640 quarters for the community. What makes this deal unacceptable to the current residents is that these are for allotment only to the original residents of the BBMP quarters, which were razed to ground by the authorities when one of the buildings collapsed.

 

Most of the beneficiaries under the current scheme no longer reside in the EWS slums; the poorest and needy, who currently live there, do not qualify for any benefits from the state, even when evicted and their homes razed.


In the context of forceful evictions of slum dwellers, Supreme Court has ruled that right to shelter is a part of right to life, enshrined by Article 21 of our constitution. PUCL demands that state run organisations, like BBMP, not resort to draconian means to render our poorest shelter-less. PUCL further demands that BBMP exhibit some constitutional responsibility and make immediate provisions, within the current plan, to also house all those whom it desires it evict – namely, all the current dwellers of EWS quarters.

Arati Chokshi
General Secretary,
PUCL-BLR

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