It’s residents vs. MLA at Kaggadasapura

Residents upset with plans to build a temple, a garden and a wide walkway near lake

Published - October 03, 2017 09:51 pm IST

 Residents allege that, apart from a walkway, three gyms, a garden, and a temple are to be constructed on Kaggadasapura lake.

Residents allege that, apart from a walkway, three gyms, a garden, and a temple are to be constructed on Kaggadasapura lake.

For the past 12 weeks, a group of residents have been descending into the murky waters of Kaggadasapura Lake to remove weeds that seem to have overrun the once-45-acre water body.

On the other side, local political leaders are making grand plans to build a temple, a garden and a wide walkway, which may eat into the struggling-for-survival water body.

Their ideas are clashing.

“What is being envisioned is against the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared in 2010. Instead of reviving the lake, funds are being used for cosmetic changes, which are detrimental to the lake,” said Jagadish Babu, a resident who is part of an informal group named Save Kaggadasapura Lake. For 12 weeks, a group of around 20 residents have been removing weeds from the lake as part of a protest against the ‘apathy’ of the local authorities.

Sewage flows into the water body from both inlets of the lake leading to frothing over the past two months.

Meanwhile, local authorities are building a 30-feet walkway, three gyms, a garden, and there is a plan to build a temple as evident from the donation drives in the area.

“The walkway is an encroachment. The DPR had said the walkway must be done through the removal of silt. Instead of desilting, authorities have dumped debris to make the walkway on the lake bed itself,” alleged Mr. Babu.

Whose lake is it?

The work, allege residents, continues unfettered as the ownership of the lake is unclear.

While the Bangalore Development Authority has ‘handed over’ the lake to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), an RTI reply shows that the BBMP is yet to take over, as the BDA has not furnished details of ‘development’ in the lake.

In the meantime, construction continues.

To RTI queries, the Lake Development Authority, BDA, BBMP’s engineering wing and lakes department have replied that they have not done any construction there.

Numerous phone calls to the local MLA S. Raghu were unanswered. The local councillor’s husband, Ravi — who is the listed contact person for the councillor — only said that all development being done for the lake is through the MLA Local Area Development Fund, as the ‘State government’ is not supporting them.

“The walkway and beautification are part of the development of the lake. The MLA and councillor have done a lot of work for the lake, particularly removing encroachments. Removing weeds will cost a lot of money and cannot be done only through us,” Mr. Ravi said.

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