Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Report blames government for breaching City’s tanks

Report blames government for breaching City’s tanks
Bangalore, DH News Service:

Encroachment of tank beds by the Government in the name of ‘public good’, a defunct Lake Development Authority (LDA), and a blind eye towards private encroachment on the water bodies in the City!

In a damaging report that has been made public, V Balasubramanian, former Additional Chief Secretary and an adviser to the Joint Legislature Committee on Land Encroachment in Bangalore, has blamed the State Government for breaching various tanks which in fact, require protection from encroachment.

“The Government has willfully and wantonly breached many tanks for housing and other purposes,” he has stated in his report. The following are some of the tank beds that Balasubramanian has spoken of in his report: Kodihalli, Chikkamarenahalli, Challaghatta, Kalagondanhalli, Kurubarahalli, Shoolay, Krishnarajapuram, and Kaikondarahalli tanks.
The report says that the Government, in its zeal to form layouts and provide better infrastructure, has ignored the basic need of the hour: to preserve the tank beds that are a lifeline to the City, which is reeling under water shortage. The tanks mentioned above have been distributed among private and public players, to step up their infrastructure projects and also to ensure profitability.

The report, ‘Where are the 1,000 lakes of Bangalore?’ has also raised several questions on the now-defunct LDA, apart from the inaction of the forest department under whom a majority of the lakes are placed.

According to the Lakshman Rau report of 1988, the Government had accepted the recommendations of the panel and placed the lakes under various authorities to preserve and protect the last few lakes in and around the city. Among them are the Horticulture and Forest Department (90) , KSTDC (12), BDA (6), BWSSB (4), Minor Irrigation Department (1) and BBMP (1).

Providing statistics, the report has shown that of the 26,468 acres, about 1,848 acres of land have been encroached by private parties. Of these, only 672 acres have been recovered by the government.

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