BENGALURU: Once a pristine river, Vrishabhavathi is now referred to as Kengri Mori (drain) as the onslaught of real estate mafia has reduced it to a small, polluted channel. Rampant dumping of debris into the water body, which flows through Bangalore University, and lack of action by BBMP authorities has turned it into a drain.
“The real reason is the entry of untreated sewage from BDA layouts, private residences and Peenya Industrial Estate over the last 30 years. The SWD has been deliberately narrowed to allow construction. The norms of buffer zone are also being ignored completely,” said Prof. T.J. Renuka Prasad from the Department of Geology, Bangalore University and coordinator of biodiversity park at the university. Prof. Prasad was threatened physically when he stopped the entry of tractors into the campus to dump debris.
“Lorries and tractors are paid Rs 500-1,000 for each load and when I stopped them they said that the land was theirs. I have written to the BBMP to take action, but so far nothing has happened,” he said.
Illegal sand mining is rampant and it is evident from the equipment found near the riverside. Prof. Prasad got 13 trenches constructed inside the campus to stop the movement of vehicles.
Project Vruksha founder Vijay Nishanth was dismayed at the brazen violation inside the campus and requested BBMP officials to step up initiatives to clear the encroached stretch. “University authorities should take note of it. Trees have been cut and the entire stretch of the water body inside the campus has turned into a dumping ground,” he said.