Bengaluru

Residents oppose roping in private firm for restoration of Doddakallasandra lake

Residents demanded to know why they were not consulted on the decision to enlist corporate help to develop and maintain the 21-acre Doddakallasandra lake.

Residents demanded to know why they were not consulted on the decision to enlist corporate help to develop and maintain the 21-acre Doddakallasandra lake.   | Photo Credit: Email Handout.

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KTCDA recently entered into an MoU with the Prestige Group

Members of five Residents’ Welfare Associations met senior officials of the Karnataka Tank Conservation and Development Authority (KTCDA) to register their objections to the government’s decision to enlist corporate help to develop and maintain the 21-acre Doddakallasandra lake.

The KTCDA recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Prestige Group to take up work under its Corporate Social Responsibility Fund (CSR) at an expected cost of ₹1.3 crore. At the meeting on Monday, residents demanded to know why they were not consulted.

“Without consulting locals, a DPR for the lake was submitted. If we are being left out now, then I’m sure it will happen in the future as well, and that is what we are worried about,” said Jagadeeswara Rao Vade of Narayan Nagar 3rd Block RWA.

KTCDA officials promised to conduct an inspection of the lake before they take a final call, though a detailed project report for the development of the lake has also been submitted.

“We will make sure that there will be effective and sustainable restoration of Doddakallasandra lake. The lake will not be developed under Public-Private-Partnership model. We will ensure that due process of law is followed,” a senior KTCDA official told The Hindu.

Raghavendra B. Pachhapur of People’s Campaign for Right to Water said that the draft of the MoU mandates the engagement of the local community and residents to ensure sustainable management of the lake even after completion of the project. “We are worried about access to the lake during and after the rejuvenation work is completed. The government should have thought twice and consulted the locals before agreeing to CSR funding by a real estate agency which has a huge complex adjacent to the lake,” he said.

KTCDA allayed fears that residents wouldn’t have access to the lake or a say in rejuvenation. “BBMP will be the custodian of the lake. We will survey the lake before fencing it and clear encroachments, if any. As per the DPR, there will be two entrance gates that the public can use to access the lake,” the official said.

According to officials, Prestige Group will maintain the lake for 24 months after restoration. “This will only be extended based on success of the project. We will constantly monitor the restoration and maintenance," the official said.

When contacted, Prestige Group said they needed some time to frame a response.

Lokayukta pulls up tahsildar

The Lokayukta on Monday pulled up Bengaluru North tahsildar, in his absentia, over delay in clearing encroachments at Chikkabanavara lake and Mallasandra Gudda lake while hearing a petition filed by Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) and United Bengaluru.

Justice P. Vishwanath Shetty ordered the tahsildar of Bengaluru North to remove encroachments in Chikkabanavara lake within three months and submit a report. He also ordered the removal of encroachments in Mallasandra Gudda lake in 10 days and submission of a report.

During the hearing, the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) assured the bench that it would stop sewage entering Chikkabanavara lake by 2021. The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) told the Lokayukta that a DPR for restoration of the lake was being prepared at a cost of ₹10 crore.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:35:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/residents-oppose-roping-in-private-firm-for-restoration-of-doddakallasandra-lake/article30560686.ece

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