Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Grabbing a piece of the lake

Grabbing a piece of the lake

The dotted line shows the wall built around the lake. This land is prone to encroachments/Nagesh Polali.

Y Maheswara ReddyFirst Published : 25 Nov 2009 04:56:00 AM ISTLast Updated : 25 Nov 2009 07:51:53 AM IST
BANGALORE: Around Kaggadasapura and Doddanekkundi, the groundwater table is fast depleting. And the only source that could help keep it alive, the Doddanekkundi Lake, is slowly becoming history due to the negligence of the authorities.
This lake has always been subject to encroachment by all people, including politicians and landlords who are ever ready to increase their property purchases. “There is no dearth for encroachers here. They are trying their best to encroach the lake bund,” says a senior citizen.
Recently, the forest department officials cleared one encroachment by removing the foundation wall on the 40x50 feet site. “Yes. Some encroachments are already present and people are on the lookout to encroach the lake land. Our staff keep a vigil on encroachment. We are trying to prevent encroachment with the available means and resources.
We have already filed cases against the encroachers. We expect to clear those encroachments shortly,” says a forest official.
The drawback, however, is that the lake does not have either a boundary wall or a fence. A few months ago, the forest department planted a few saplings on one side of the lake bund. The other problem of the lake is the sewage water that flows from a temporary slum at Abbaiah Reddy Layout and from a few apartments.
When you go there the first time, you could find it hard to even spot the lake amidst all the hyacinth growing in it. The quantum of weeds and hyacinth prove the apathy of officials concerned. “One or two cows that entered the lake recently had to pay with their lives. The lake has become a breeding place for mosquitoes. It is very tough for us to cope with mosquitoes in the night,” says Ramanna of Kaggadasapura.
When contacted, Lake Development Authority officials made it clear that their responsibility was reduced to only giving suggestions and attending meetings of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike whenever it decides to discuss about lakes in Bangalore.
Many people in this area suspect political support behind the encroachers.
However, local political leaders deny such allegations.
NS Nandish Reddy, MLA from Krishnarajapuram constituency, said that he had asked the authorities concerned to survey the lake and fix boundaries. “I am very interested in protecting the lake. I want to develop the lake but lack of funds makes it difficult. I will take up the development of this lake shortly,” says Nandish Reddy.
On encroachments by politicians or influential people, Reddy said that no fresh encroachments have taken place recently. “I have not encroached a single inch of land. If any one proves my involvement in encroachment of the lake, I will retire from politics permanently. I come from a decent family. Regarding the defunct brick factory near the lake, the land belongs to my family.
I am yet to remove the remains of the factory. I am waiting for the right time to start a new venture at that place,” adds Reddy.


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