Stormwater drains in Koramangala, an affluent neighbourhood that was marooned in the heavy rainfall on Independence Day, have been encroached by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and the Karnataka Housing Board’s National Games Village (NGV), survey maps reveal.
The two agencies have encroached at least 5.24 acres of rajakaluves in Koramangala, according to survey maps made public by the Survey Settlements and Land Records department. The NGV side of Koramangala was flooded along with adjoining localities such as ST Bed Layout, Koramangala 4th and 6th Blocks and Ejipura — all thanks to 130 mm rainfall the city received in just four hours on August 15.
The largest extent of drain encroachment in Koramangala is on survey number 106, where KHB National Games Village has encroached 1.11 acres of a drain that apparently leads to the Agara lake, according to the maps DH analysed. The encroachment includes a road, a building and a park. A BDA building has encroached 30 guntas of a drain in survey number 133.
These surveys were commissioned at the behest of the Joint Legislative Assembly Committee on Lake Encroachment and carried out jointly by revenue and municipal officials. The survey was based on the rajakaluve network as depicted in a British-era cadastral map of the Koramangala village. Interestingly, Koramangala village is shown to have had two water bodies that no longer exist. In fact, it was based on these century-old revenue maps that the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) took up a drive to demolish drain encroachments last year.
“I’m not aware of these encroachments,” BDA commissioner Rakesh Singh said. “The BDA owns shopping complexes and CA sites and I’m not sure if we have so many buildings in Koramangala,” he added. Karnataka Housing Board commissioner A B Ibrahim was unavailable for comment.
In Ejipura, which was also severely affected in the rain deluge, survey maps reveal that eight buildings have encroached stormwater drains in survey numbers 8 and 23. The ownership of these buildings remains unknown.
According to BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad, the civic body has cleared about 1,250 cases of encroachment out of 1,900. “All existing encroachments will have to be removed,” Prasad said, when asked about BDA and KHB encroachments in Koramangala. “We want encroachment removal to be a continuous process to ensure the ones we clear don’t get encroached again.”