Panel lambasts BBMP, BDA for inability to save lakes

‘The agencies have failed to crackdown on land grabbers’

A State Legislature Committee on Local Bodies and Panchayat Raj has come down heavily on the functioning of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and their officials for their “carelessness in safeguarding and rejuvenating lakes” that come under the jurisdiction of the Urban Development Department.

A 23-page report tabled in the Legislative Assembly on Friday by committee chairman Araga Jnanedra of the BJP has said that laxity on part of the BBMP and BDA officials led to encroachment of lakebeds/lands and severe pollution of waterbodies in and around the city.

Tahsildars had failed to execute the Karnataka Land Grabbing and Prohibition Act, 2011, and take action against private firms, real estate developers and private people from grabbing lakebeds. Despite frequent orders from National Green Tribunal (NGT), High Court of Karnataka, and Karnataka Lokayukta, the executing agencies have failed to crackdown on land grabbers under the existing laws, the committee said.

The panel members held 15 meetings and visited lakes around Bengaluru city and noted that there are 211 lakes in the BBMP limits and of them, the city’s civic agency manages 167 lakes. While BDA manages 33 lakes, Forest Department manages 9, and BMRCL 3. A total of 19 lakes have become defunct or non-use.

Sewage water

It said that many lakes were polluted following release of sewage water into waterbodies. It suggested the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to take action against residential complexes that release water into lakes. It recommended the government to rope in NGOs and private people for development of lakes. The panel said installation of Sewerage Treatment Plants should be made mandatory in all residential complexes.

Hulimavu lake

A total of 22 acres of Hulimavu lake has been encroached by the government agencies. It found that 1.11 acres and 1.16 acres of Siddapura and Ibbur lakes have been encroached, respectively.

It said a coordinated action from the Police, Revenue Departments and the BBMP was required to check illegal encroachment of government lands and lakes. It also suggested an appointment of a lawyer for expediting pending cases in various courts.

It has recommended providing magisterial powers to tahsildars to check encroachments.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 8:19:49 AM |

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