‘Nearly one-fifth of lake area in Bengaluru encroached’

Anil Urs Belagavi | Updated on January 09, 2018

Legislature panel report blames govtand private parties

Nearly one-fifth of lake area in the Garden City has been encroached upon, according to a Karnataka Legislature Committee report.

The report, which was tabled in the State Assembly on Tuesday, has recommended strict action against encroachers and officials responsible for it.

Widespread encroachments

Of the total 1,547 lakes (urban district has 837 lakes and rural district 710 lakes) in Bengaluru, which is spread across 57,932 acres in both urban and rural districts, 10,785 acres have been encroached upon by both government and private agencies, the report said.

Speaker KB Koliwad, who is chairman of the House committee on lakes, told reporters on Wednesday that the committee had found lake encroachment by both government and private agencies on a large scale.

Government agencies that figured in the encroachers’ list are Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA).

Other departments have created roads, bus stands, storm drains, and residential layouts, and have raised social forestry and other civic amenities on the encroached land.

Private parties have built apartments, commercial complexes, playgrounds and temples on encroached land.

Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) has been the single largest government agency to have encroached on 23 lakes to an extent of 384 acres in Bengaluru North, South and East taluks. The Authority has created numerous residential layouts on lands classified as dried or dead lakes.

Of the 1,547 lakes, 158 lakes have not been encroachment upon. The report has recommended government efforts to safeguard them.

The legislature committee has recommended stringent action to remove all encroachments.

The committee has also suggested earmarking lake areas as ‘blue zones’ as part of protection measures. These zones should be used only for public amenities like parks and recreational areas.

“The government should be lenient to houses and residential dwellings but should not spare commercial buildings,” said Koliwad. “Efforts should me made regularise residential houses or apartments built unknowingly on encroached lake lands as the home buyers are innocent victims,” he added.

The committee has suggested setting up of a judicial committee to identify the officials responsible for encroachments and recover costs from them for the losses caused because of their nexus with private builders.

Published on November 22, 2017

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