Mangaluru, February 26, 2018: The ghost of Vinayak Baliga seems to be having the last laugh as one of the activism causes that he keenly pursued has finally reached its logical conclusion. In a landmark decision, the Commissioner of Mangalore City Corporation, Mohammed Nazir has declared that a structure belonging to a reputed educational institution in the city is illegal and should be demolished immediately.
The murdered RTI activist Vinayak Baliga had filed a complaint against the unauthorized construction of the multi storied building of the South Kanara Dravida Brahmins Association (SKDB) which houses a number of educational institutions going under the name of Sharada Vidyalaya. Baliga, who lived close to the school, had observed in 2012 itself that they had constructed a building attached to its campus at Kala Kunj Road in clear violation of the bye laws of the civic bodies.
Subsequently he had filed a complaint with the Mangalore City Corporation through RTI TP281/2012-13 dated 8-11-2012. When the same had come for hearing on the 24th of March, 2016 Baliga was no more, since he had been brutally hacked to death in front of his home three days earlier (on 21st March 2016).
The case had been adjourned and his sister Harsha and activist Narendra Nayak had decided to continue the litigation. Now after nearly two years, the case has been heard and the orders have been passed for demolition of the illegal construction within 30 days.
As per the case details it was argued that the SKDB had sanction for construction of the extent of 970.56 Sq. MTrs only. Their license was for the construction of three floors as per the sanctioned plans:
1. Ground floor 323.52 sq Mtrs.
2. First floor 323.52 Sq. Mtrs
3. Second floor 323.52 Sq Mtrs.
Total 970.56 Sq. MTrs.
But the construction has been as follows:
1. Cellar 323.52 Sq. Mtrs.
2. Ground floor 342.92 Sq. Mtrs
3. First flood 342.92 Sq. Mtrs
4. Second floor 342.92 Sq. Mtrs
5. Third floor 342.92 Sq. Mtrs.
Total 2015.04 Sq. Mtrs.
It was argued that this is in blatant violation of law and a wanton act done with the intention of profit at the cost of putting pressure on the civic amenities. The SKDB instead of using the cellar for parking is using for other purposes which it is not intended to. The construction has been more than 100% of the sanctioned plan and hence liable to be demolished, the complaints had pointed out.
SKDB had tried to project that the extraneous construction could be regularized using existing provisions for the same. But the complainants argued that the premises is not a building used for residential purposes and the deviation is more than four times that of the prescribed limit of 25% under the ‘Akrama-Sakrama’ scheme. This means that a maximum deviation of around 242.5 sq. mtrs can be regularized.
Hence the complainants had pleaded that two full floors - the second and third floor measuring 342.92 a total of 685.84 Sq. Mtrs be demolished. This would leave 1329.20 Sq. Mtrs which will be well above the maximum allowed under the Akrama- Sakrama scheme.