BDA commissioner to constitute 23 teams to carry out physical verification of unauthorized constructions in 23 villages falling in Zone-3 of TG Halli reservoir catchment area.
Justice AN Venugopala Gowda directed the BDA to conduct the verification on December 14, 15 and 16, two of which are holidays, and to submit a report to it on December 17, the next date of hearing.
“It’s not a big task. Officials can do this even on holidays. The commissioner has to constitute 23 separate teams for these 23 villages under his jurisdiction, and which lie within 1km on either side of the banks of the river Arkavathy, notified under Zone-3 in the notification dated November 18, 2003,” the judge observed.
Earlier, the judge took the BDA to task for failing to personally serve notices under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act on unauthorized constructions, and suggesting they would undertake a paper publication instead.
“Are you so helpless? You don’t have men and machinery? This court is at a loss to understand the BDA’s difficulty in serving notices on such properties. The law requires personal service of notice. This paper publication exercise suggested by BDA, the town planning authority, is not in conformity with the law,” the judge observed.
The court was also critical of the fact that prior to the November 2003 notification, there were 34 units in the notified area and 137 came up in the 10 years after the area was declared as Zone-3.
“The purpose of the order was to remove the existing 34 units. Instead, you’ve allowed 137 more units .This is not addition, it is multiplication, defeating the very purpose of the notification. This reflects very poorly on the administration and law-enforcing agencies,” the judge noted.
The court was also not happy with what the government was doing in these 10 years, though a direction was issued by a division bench of the court to implement the notification. The court is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the notices issued to clear the alleged encroachments.