Thursday, April 22, 2010

71 more lakes handed over to BBMP

71 more lakes handed over to BBMP
Satish Shile , Bangalore, April 21, DH News Service:

Now the task of conserving and rejuvenating majority of the lakes in Bangalore is BBMP’s responsibility.

The State Government has transferred maintenance and development of 71 lakes, which were hitherto maintained by the Forest Department, to it. There are totally 115 lakes in Bangalore.

The government, in its order dated April 19, transferred the lakes to BBMP following recommendations from the High Court Lok Adalat to this effect. A meeting of senior officers of BBMP, BDA and Urban Development Department convened by the Chief Secretary in February this year took the decision. BBMP has to generate funds to evict encroachments of the lakes and retain them as fresh water bodies.

The Lok Adalat received many complaints against encroachment of lakes and allowing sewage water and municipal wastes into them.

A N Yellappa Reddy, member of the Lok Adalat, said the Forest Department officials expressed their helplessness to maintain the lakes as the government did not provide funds for the department.

“We called BBMP and BDA officials and enquired whether they will manage the lakes. They agreed. Following the recommendation from the Lok Adalat the government handed over the lakes to BBMP”, he said.

With the hand over of 71 lakes, the total number of lakes in BBMP control is 94, including 23 lakes handed over earlier.

The Palike had already taken up the development of 23 lakes. The Palike has to work out action plan for development of lakes allotted afresh.

A senior officer of the Palike said, “The Palike will allocate funds for lakes in the next budget to be presented in the council.”

Conditions

The government has also put some conditions to maintain the lakes. The Palike should evict encroachment of lakes with the help of Revenue Department and Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force before taking up development works.

Litigations on encroachments pending in various courts should be handled by the Palike. The detailed project reports for development of lakes should be approved by the Lake Development Authority.

The Palike will get some more lakes in the coming days. The government order says the four lakes - Kundanahallikere, Mahadevapura lake, Chellakere and Bachikere, which are being maintained by institutions under the ‘adopt a lake policy’ for a period of five years will be handed over to BBMP after the lease period is over.

Similarly, Jaraganahalli lake, being developed by Lake Development Authority, will also be handed over to BBMP after the work is completed. BDA will also handover its lakes to BBMP after developing them.

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