Wednesday, April 25, 2007

B'lore lakes struggle for survival

B'lore lakes struggle for survival


Baangalore: It was once known as the Garden City, the air conditioned city and also the perfect metro. But today Bangalore is no longer a ‘paradise’.

The lakes in Bangalore for the matter, are struggling to survive. The Jaraganahalli Lake for example, just like any other lake has become an open toilet and a dumping ground for garbage and construction debris.

The lake was fenced off to prevent any further dumping and encroachment, but it wasn't long before people found a way through.

In fact, the Lake Development Authority (LDA), the first of its kind in the country, was set up five years ago to coordinate and monitor lakes in the city.

However, in the absence of powers to prosecute, the LDA remains, much like it's boards, helpless and abandoned.

"In any of these lakes, the eviction of encroachment power is not vested in us. There is no LDA act so far in place. There is no statute empowering us to book the encroachers and other culprits who are responsible for dumping garbage and construction waste,” says CEO, Lake Development Authority, B K Singh.

S Shridhar and his friends got together and formed a group called Utkarsh and decided to take up cudgels on behalf of the dying Vibhutipura Lake as the lake was turning into a huge landfill due to a spurt in building activity over the last six months.

"We have given memos to the forest department two to three times but have not seen any action there...There is always a confusion between the forest department, the LDA and the revenue department. The corporation is not in function now, it's been dissolved so we don't even have that remedy,” says Shridhar.

With the formation of Greater Bangalore came great hopes for Bangalore city. But amid the construction boom and with elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike yet to be held, it is such city details that stand to suffer the most.


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