Bengaluru

Lokayukta orders removal of encroachments at Hulimavu lake

The Lokayukta had directed officials to remove encroachments in the lake in 2018, but no action was taken.

The Lokayukta had directed officials to remove encroachments in the lake in 2018, but no action was taken.   | Photo Credit: G_P_Sampath Kumar

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Directs officials to complete survey of the lake in the next two weeks

Lokayukta P. Vishwanath Shetty on Tuesday ordered the Revenue Department to remove all encroachments on Hulimavu lake, apart from directing a joint inspection by civic agencies and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to assess the contamination of water in two weeks.

Justice Shetty had visited Hulimavu lake a day after the breach on November 24 that led to flooding of surrounding areas, and initiated suo motu action. The matter was also part of the petition filed by Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) under the aegis of freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy on the upkeep of lakes in the city in 2017, which came up for hearing on Tuesday.

The Lokayukta had directed officials to remove encroachments in the lake in 2018, but no action was taken.

BBMP officials claimed the survey of the lake was only partially completed. The complete survey on encroachment would be submitted during the next hearing, they said.

“I have directed officials to complete the survey of the lake in the next two weeks. All encroachments have to be removed by the Revenue Department,” the Lokayukta told The Hindu.

The next hearing of the case is slated for February 15, 2020.

Earlier, reports by Revenue Department suggested that the BDA is the biggest encroacher – 17.33 acres to form a layout – of the 140-odd-acre lake.

The Lokayukta also ordered the Revenue Department to fence the lake immediately and submit a report of the same at the next hearing.

BBMP submitted a report on the damage due to the flood and action taken, as per the Lokayukta's directions.

Justice Shetty has set January 10, 2020 as the deadline for the civic body to fulfil the damage redressal for all the 374 houses, as per the survey by BBMP.

“Five houses have suffered severe damage and the owners will be compensated as per the Disaster Management Rules. This should also be completed by January 10,” he said. He also directed the civic body to distribute school books and uniforms to the affected children within the next seven days.

Petitioner H.S. Doreswamy, who was present at the hearing on Tuesday, expressed unhappiness over the slow progress by officials to take corrective measures to rejuvenate and restore lakes. “BDA, being a government body, has encroached the lake. Now, it must be seen that the eviction begins from the land encroached by the BDA,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 8:30:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/lokayukta-orders-removal-of-encroachments-at-hulimavu-lake/article30268983.ece

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