A Builder’s Fault, Owner’s At Loss: Bengaluru Demolitions

In Bengaluru today a couple stood in front of a bulldozer and threatened the officials to set themselves on fire if their house was to be demolished, as the civic body removed structures illegally blocking the city’s drainage.

The BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) was carrying out demolitions in the northeastern part of the city when the couple stopped them, refusing to budge.

When the bulldozer approached, Sona Sen and her husband Sunil Singh screamed that they would set themselves on fire. They clung to the wall outside their home, with Sona Sen seen holding a bottle of petrol.

In dramatic videos that went viral, they were seen splashing themselves with petrol and policemen and neighbours trying to pull them up.

Water was sprayed on the couple as they appeared ready to light a match.

Neighbours and others pleaded with the couple to not do anything rash and requested the civic officials to halt the demolition.

The couple, hitting out at the administration, claimed they had documents to prove their house is not illegal.

Civic officials still demolished a part of their home anyway. The couple was then taken to the police station.

Officials said the couple’s house is one of the six in the area that have been built partially on a storm water drain.

“We informed them that we will only demolish what’s required and only the part that is sitting on the storm water drain. But they refused to budge. And with the help of the police and marshals, we began the demolition. We had issued them notice,” said the civic body’s executive engineer Pampathy.

Structures blocking storm water drains are being removed across Bengaluru after heavy rain last month flooded offices, colonies and crippled the city’s infrastructure.

Several areas in the IT city were submerged, including the Mahadevapura zone, Sarjapur area and Bellandur that have the maximum offices of tech behemoths.

Mohammad Nalapad, Congress youth president, had a compound wall of the Nalapad International School sitting on a storm water drain, which was demolished.