Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Govt to get tough on lake bed encroachment

Govt to get tough on lake bed encroachment
DH News Service, Bangalore:
The State Government is contemplating setting up a special task force to clear encroachment of lake beds in and around Bangalore city, Minor Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, Karjol said the encroached land is estimated to be worth nearly Rs 50,000 crore, and government will take all steps to clear them.

He said that a high-level meeting of officials from various departments - including Revenue, Forest, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Bangalore Development Authority, BBMP and BMRDA - will be convened on September 4 to work out the modalities for removing encroachment of lake beds in Bangalore.

“Survey work on 23 of the 73 lakes in Bangalore has been completed, and as many as 15 lakes have been found to be encroached. While a sum of Rs two crore had been earmarked for the survey, shortage of surveyors is delaying the progress of work,” the minister said.

He said that in some cases, buildings had come up in lake beds. “A detailed report on encroachments will be prepared after the completion of the survey. The encroached land will be fenced and the guilty brought to book,” he added.

Steps have also been taken for the development of lakes in BBMP limits.

Of the 46 lakes in the limits of the civic body, four have been entrusted to the Lake Development Authority, three to the forest department and two to the BDA. A blueprint is being prepared for better coordination between various departments for lake development, he said.

The minister said that under the second phase, the World Bank-assisted Community based Tank Improvement Project (Jalasamvardhane yojane) will be extended to eight more districts to cover 1,225 tanks. As many as 37 taluks in Belgaum, Bijapur, Chikmagalur, Davangere, Dharwad, Hassan and Shimoga will be covered in the second phase.

Under the first phase, the scheme is being implemented in Kolar, Chikaballapur, Tumkur, Haveri, Raichur, Chitradurga, Bellary, Bidar, Bagalkot and Koppal.


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