Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Panel chief asks govt to restore 450-yr-old lake

Panel chief asks govt to restore 450-yr-old lake

Bangalore: Over four centuries ago, it was conceived by Kempe Gowda for the residents of Basavanagudi. Today, very little remains of Kempambudhi lake since it has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, emanates stench and makes the lives of residents miserable.
Expressing dismay at the state of affairs, joint legislature house committee chairman, A T Ramaswamy, who visited the lake with his team on Tuesday, said the authorities concerned have ruined the lake in the name of development.
The 47-acre lake was constructed during Kempe Gowda’s reign 450 years ago. Today, only 20 acres remain. All, thanks to encroachment. Parks and roads have been constructed along the lake bed area and untreated sewage is being let into the water body. What’s more, concrete structures have come up, violating all norms, said Ramaswamy.
The Karnataka Slum Clearance Board is constructing concrete houses on one-and-a-half acres of lake area to rehabilitate dwellers of nearby Sanyasikunte slum. “The 1995-96 Karnataka High Court order clearly states that no activities whatsoever should take place in the lake area. Measures will be taken as per the ruling, and the buildings will be demolished,’’ Ramaswamy added. He has directed the BWSSB and BBMP to take steps to restore the lake at the earliest.
In Koramanagala
Ramaswamy and his team then went to Koramangala, where he said, around 8.11 acres of service Inaam land (survey numbers 138, 149, 148, 147 and 154), worth nearly Rs 325 crore, have been encroached upon for over fives decades.
Five buildings — Big Bazaar, Salarpuria Tower II (NDS Pvt Ltd, Globus Building), Salarpuria Annex, UCO Bank and Indian Oil Pvt Ltd buildings — have come up on 3.37 acres of encroached land (survey No 149). While Big Bazaar has occupied 1.32 acres, KPTC has encroached upon 32 guntas (survey No 148), Ramaswamy said.
“All the buildings are being rented out, with the encroachers enjoying a rent of Rs 6 crore annually. The land was bought by the previous beneficiary, K B Yellappa Reddy, through false documents. According to them, five parties are involved, including Srinivas Reddy and Vijaykumar Agarwal. Records show that Agarwal recently sold the Big Bazaar building to one Janardhan Reddy.’’.
But it is yet to be established as to who Janardhan Reddy is; the matter will be probed to ascertain who are actually involved, he added. He has ordered the tahsildar to register the land as government land immediately.
has erred’
Suspended BJP MLC G Janardhana Reddy sought to clear the air as to who the ‘Janardhan Reddy’ is, as mentioned by Ramaswamy. Speaking to reporters in Bellary, he dismissed the committee findings. “The Ramaswamy committee has erred on the information. The land was purchased and owned by me. This is again a ploy and the chief minister is behind it. I have sufficient records to prove that I am the owner of the said land. It’s an inherited property and not an encroachment. We purchased it in 2005 after obtaining legal opinion from reputed consultants,’’ Reddy said.


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