Bengaluru: Attempt to save nearby temple led to disaster?

In his complaint, Gowda states that Assistant Engineer Shilpa, who served under him, was in charge of monitoring Hulimavu Lake.

BENGALURU: Did efforts to prevent the flooding of a temple located near Hulimavu lake result in hundreds of homes being flooded and thousands rendered homeless? Or was it caused by the foolishness of a BWSSB official? The FIR filed by an Assistant Executive Engineer, BBMP, says both reasons are true. Linge Gowda, who is in charge of lakes in the Bommanahalli area, where Hulimavu lake is also located, lodged the complaint against Karthik, a BWSSB official and others. It is also being said that a prominent BJP leader from the area was instrumental in facilitating the misadventure to save the deity and appease the public.

In his complaint, Gowda states that Assistant Engineer Shilpa, who served under him, was in charge of monitoring Hulimavu Lake. When she was questioned about whether she had ordered any work around the lake, she said that BWSSB was carrying out work on a Sewage Treatment Plant in the south side of the lake.

“Karthik, who is an assistant engineer with BWSSB, called me on November 20. He told me that water from the lake is entering the temple located close to the STP. Karthik also told me the public were demanding that excess water should be let out to bring down water levels,” Shilpa had allegedly told Linge Gowda. Shilpa also said that she had clearly told Karthik nothing was to be done before she had conducted an inspection personally. She also asked him to put his request in writing.

However, when the spot was examined, it was found that the Hulimavu Lake bund had been breached by a JCB vehicle. It was also found that the soil in the bund had been taken out with a JCB crane. “Karthik or his men may have breached the tank bund of Hulimavu lake,” the statement reads in the complaint. Linge Gowda appealed to police to initiate action against those who caused such extensive damage to public property as well as a disastrous flood situation.

Hulimavu police have registered a case under Section 3 of the Karnataka Prevention of Damage to Property Act, 1984 and under Section 431 of the Indian Penal Code.

The complaint had mentioned residents of Krishna Layout, BTM Layout, R.R. layout, Saraswathipuram and Vyshaya Bank colony as the victims. Linge Gowda says he had been deputed as a nodal officer in the bypolls, relieving him temporarily of his duties as part of the lake division.

Hulimavu Lake, which spreads across 140.7 acres, according to Gowda’s complaing, was connectd to Madivala Lake via a major storm water drain. All the houses located on either side of the SWD have been affected.

However, the news that two persons had been arrested in connection with the FIR was not confirmed by the cops.

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