Lokayukta orders eviction of encroachers at Hulimavu Lake

The Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), on behalf of freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy, submitted a few suggestions to the Lokayukta.

BENGALURU: Lokayukta Justice P. Vishwanatha Shetty on Tuesday ordered government officials to evict all encroachers around Hulimavu Lake within two weeks and to fence the lake immediately. He also directed that a joint survey be taken up by the BBMP, BWSSB and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to assess the contamination of water within two weeks.

Justice Shetty issued notices to the tahsildar and the joint director of Land Records Department and directed them to carry out a survey of the lake and submit a status report by the next date of hearing. Despite the order dated September 11, 2018 and subsequent orders, there has been very little or no progress in sight, he said. Officials told the Lokayukta that the survey of the lake has been done partially and the complete survey on encroachment will be submitted by the next hearing. The Lokayukta directed the Bangalore South Taluk tahsildar, BBMP commissioner, BWSSB chairman and BBMP health department officials to submit an interim report on the Hulimavu Lake breach within two weeks.

Justice Shetty visited the site of Hulimavu Lake breach recently, following which top officials of civic and government agencies have submitted that grievances had been addressed as per the disaster management guidelines.

The Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF), on behalf of freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy, submitted a few suggestions to the Lokayukta.

The project to rejuvenate Hulimavu Lake had come on the Lokayukta’s radar in September 2018 after Mr Doreswamy filed a complaint over delayed works. In July 2019, the Lokayukta ordered the BBMP to submit a status report on the project, but the Palike didn’t respond.

The Lokayukta issued a notice asking the assistant director (land records) of Anekal taluk and the tahsildar to conduct a survey of the lake, remove encroachments and submit a status report on February 2, 2020.

Justice Shetty on Tuesday ordered the BBMP to give school books and uniforms to 30 children within seven days and also fulfil the damage redressal for all the 374 houses as per the BBMP survey by Jan 10, 2020.

“NBF and United Bengaluru will evolve a joint action plan after meeting the Chief Engineer (BBMP) and discuss issues and status on the development works of lakes. We will also meet the BBMP commissioner on fencing of all lakes as a first and immediate action and removing encroachments immediately after. We will also submit a report on the inspection of new lakes to the Lokayukta and file rejoinders to the existing lake petition, ” said Mr Harish Kumar, General Manager, NBF.

“It is sad to note that despite two years of delay, officials are yet to take any corrective measures to rejuvenate and restore the lakes. BDA being the government body itself has encroached land and now it must be seen that the eviction must begin from here. I have the moral responsibility to save the public properties so that the next generation will get the deserved environment to live in,” Mr Doreswamy said.

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