Friday, January 27, 2006

Lakes converted to bus-stands a bad idea

Lakes converted to bus-stands a bad idea
New Indian Express

Over the years many lakes have been encroached upon and turned into high-rise buildings.

Many of the old lakes in the City have been converted into bus-stands, hockey stadia and shopping complexes. Many times, it is either private builders or Government itself, who are involved in the land grabbing business.

“Increased land value, non-accountability and difference of opinion between various Government agencies are among factors contributing to the lake encroachment. The system too encourages such encroachments by regularising it. Action taken hardly matters.

“There are several government departments working for then protection of aquatic biography of Bangalore. They are supposed to develop the lakes. Most of the departments complain of not having sufficient staff to evict encroachments.

“There are more than five Government departments are equally responsible for the complaints regarding the aqua land encroachments. Most of the time when a voice is raised the same departments blame one another.

“All these departments join hands and carry out a crash programme to evict encroachments.

“As a solution, the Government should form a single agency to protect government lands, lakes and open spaces. Already, many encroachment cases are pending in the court.

“It’s beneficial to approach the Court and seek further measures. The Supreme Court is sympathetic towards community areas. If the Government notifies the lakes as Fresh Water Ecosystem, the encroachments can be stopped under Forest Act Notification of Indian Forest Act, Forest Conservation Act and Water Act.”

A N Yellappa Reddy, noted Environmentalist and former PCCF.

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