Bangalore Division initiates action to clear Temples built in encroached Railway Land

Bangalore (SBC): The authorities are readying to clear five temples on the railway land between Malleswaram and Yeshwantpur railway stations.

This follows the issuance of a summons from the Upa Lokayukta a fortnight ago, asking the Bangalore Division of the Railways why it had not initiated steps to clear the encroachments. Upa Lokayukta Justice S B Majage said, “I have asked them to initiate action in this connection.”

The land is spread across 5156.16 sqft with a market price of about Rs.5.15 crore.

Two temples dedicated to Shanimahatma, two to Anjaneya (Hanuman) and one to Kali have come up on the railway land over the last 10 to 15 years.

A temple dedicated to Karumariamman has also come up on railway property, but its trustees have approached the High Court and obtained a stay.

All these temples have sprung up on the 3.5-km road running parallel to the railway track from Malleswaram to Yeshwantpur, referred to officially as Railway Parallel Road.

Estate Officer and Additional Divisional Railway Manager Sunanda Arul met Justice Majage on May 7 in connection with the summons she had received from him.

A citizen had complained to the Upa Lokayukta that railway authorities were not taking any steps to reclaim their land.

Sunanda later told, “We had given eviction notices to the five temples long ago. We had even given them six months to rebuild the temples elsewhere.”

Priests from the five temples visited top railway officials.

The Railways also sent a letter to the BBMP Commissioner on April 27, complaining that “buildings which were built unauthorisedly were provided with water and electricity connections by the local government (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike).”

The letter from the Divisional Engineer, North, South Western Railway, has requested the BBMP to remove the connections so that the Railways could clear the structures.

On two earlier occasions, as soon as the authorities visited the properties to take possession, news spread and people gathered in large numbers to stall the eviction, a Railways official said.