Bengaluru: Citizen groups, lake experts along with the government officials under the umbrella of United Bengaluru undertook an inspection of Subramanyapura, Vasanthpura and Gowdanapalya lakes and filed police cases against encroachments and illegal dumping of garbage.
At Subramanyapura Lake the team found that the lake bund was broken by unknown miscreants to prevent flooding in nearby residential areas. After finding heaps of garbage and illegal encroachment around the lakes, the team filed a police complaint at Subramanyapura police station.
In a letter demanding action against the encroachers, the United Bengaluru team has raised the concern of encroachment of the Vasanthapura Kalyani by a builder N. Balakrishna Naidu, who in connivance with certain officials was using the land of Kalyani to build a wide road to his property.
Freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy stressed on need to rejuvenate city lakes. "We should not be dependent only on Cauvery river, if lakes are rejuvenated we can use it too," he said.
Thanking the citizens for showing concern, Doreswamy said he was even ready to go to High Court and Supreme Court to protect the lakes.
Uttarahalli Corporator Hanumanthaiah said that Rs 3 crore has been allocated for the development of lakes.
However, Subbu Hegde, President, Classic Orchards Property Owners Association, said that in order to stop encroachment and dumping of waste around the lakes, the government should put up a board where the details about the allocation of funds to rejuvenate the lakes along with a tentative time for the completion of work are specified.
Hegde also pointed out that it was the mafia which encroaches upon government lands and makes a fortune. "Due to the connivance of the government officials, there has been a huge encroachment on the government lands. This must stop. Mafia earns a huge sum of money from the illegal dumping of waste around the lakes," he added.
Quoting Koliwad committee report United Bengaluru activists pointed out that out of nine acres of Gowdanapalya Lake, three acres has been encroached upon by private establishments and shanty huts on the rajakaluve.
S. Vishwanath of the Rain Water Club said, "Revenue Department and Tahsildar are responsible for the encroachments. They have never been questioned. Unless we start punishing them nothing can be done."
N.S. Mukunda, founding president, Citizens' Action Forum, urged the citizens to fight the unholy builder-politician nexus to reclaim the lakes.