BBMP not powerless: Karnataka high court

The high court on Monday said the BBMP has all the powers to remove illegal shops and encroachments from the city’s roads and footpaths as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, 1976. The court has noted that BBMP is obliged to remove obstructions and projections in open streets, bridges and public places under section 58 of the Act.

Also, section 288D vests the commissioner with all the powers to remove encroachments or structures, which cause obstruction in public streets, even without issuing any notice, added the court.

A division bench headed by chief justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka also directed a top BBMP officer to submit an affidavit by July 9 setting out the steps the civic body proposes to take for ensuring free movement on footpaths.

The bench, which is hearing a batch of PILs complaining about illegal shops and encroachment of footpaths, noted that just like the fundamental right of citizen to walk freely on the road, the municipal corporation has a duty cast upon it under the KMC Act to ensure realisation of the said right guaranteed to the citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The PIL had challenged the construction of illegal shops on the service road adjoining the Madiwala-Sarjapur Road.

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