High Court mounts pressure on BBMP, Maverick to resolve Ejipura quagmire

The question of identification and rehabilitation of the low-income citizens who are to get the long-pending flats is not resolving easily. The High Court has now forced a settlement meeting and may deliver a final verdict very shortly.

Now one more week to see the fate of the reconstruction of EWS flats for the poor at Ejipura. After the hearing High Court Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Aravind Kumar adjourned the session to Aug 21st, 2012. Aniyan Joseph feels that, on 21st High Court may release a final order over EWS flats.

In a week the fate of the reconstruction of EWS flats for the poor at Ejipura will be known. Pic: Sankar C G

On August 8th, the High Court asked BBMP, Maverick Holdings and Aniyan Joseph, advocate for original 1512-beneficiaries in the Ejipura case, to meet on 9th evening at BBMP to resolve the allotment and rehabilitation crisis.

“In the meeting we have discussed about the relocation, identification, issues in the plan and so many other things. I think everything is in the right track now and we can wait for the final court order,” says Aniyan.

Earlier on August 2nd, the court had given one week BBMP, Maverick, the construction company that build Garuda Mall, and the original allottees to sort out matters. But there has been no progress, with BBMP and Maverick at loggerhead with the original allottees.

The allottees had moved to high court in 2011 when they faced with the prospect that unauthorised people currently staying in the EWS colony were likely to get the new BBMP flats. This was due to the ID-cards issued by BBMP to them between 2007-11. At the hearing on on July 18th, the High Court asked the BBMP Commissioner to file an affidavit with the detailed action plan of the reconstruction. BBMP complied.

Folowing this, at the court on August 2nd, advocate Aniyan Joseph, after scrutinising BBMP’s affidavit, said he was certain that if BBMP and Maverick were to go on with the construction, without making clarity on who are the original allottees, the flats may reach to some other unauthorised people.

“Identifying 1512 original allottees is a herculean task. So we need to have a transparent mechanism to identify those people,” said Thiruvenkatam B C, another advocate appearing for original allottees.

The petitioners have also demanded proper rehabilitation till the construction of flats gets over. Maverick’s suggestion of rehabilitation in Hosur Road, at Iggalur, 23 kms from Ejipura was not acceptable to the original allottees. “We are daily wage workers. Coming to the city everyday for work will be a hectic task if we be relocated to Hosur Road,” says Meena Venkatappa, one of the original allottees, currently residing at AT Halli, near Richmond circle.

On the other hand, Uday Garudachar, head of Maverick Holdings, said, “We know their pathetic living conditions. These kinds of demands are unacceptable and we are here not to provide everything they seek.”

Over the past eight years, reconstruction of EWS flats has not seen the light of day. The issue has come up to the court eight times, on various grounds: issues over the agreement, tender disputes and the conflict between original allottees and unauthorised people. “This time we do not want the same to happen again. We need full clarity on every issue over the reconstruction,” says Thiruvenkatam.

All eyes are on the High Court of Karnataka, since it appears to be the only body that can force a resolution. The next hearing is on August 13th, and before that is the meeting between BBMP, Maverick and petitioners’ advocate Aniyan Joseph.

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