Saturday, June 19, 2010

Koramangala residents to draw up report for lake

Koramangala residents to draw up report for lake

Bangalore: For the first time in the history of the city’s development, a group of residents of Koramangala are joining hands with the Bangalore Development Authority to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the development of a lake in their locality.
After Sagaayapuram residents prepared their own budget for the ward, it is now the turn of resident welfare associations of Koramangala to prepare a DPR for a lake and lung space in their locality.
On Friday, BDA commissioner Siddaiah and MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar visited the Mestripalya tank area in Koramangala, the disputed land of the tank and the park in 3rd Block. The DPR for the lake will be prepared in a month.
Besides, the BDA commissioner has asked the RWA representatives to visit different lakes in the city developed by BDA.
He promised the residents that the lake will be rejuvenated and developed within six months of preparation of the DPR. However, the cost of the project will be estimated after the DPR is ready, Siddaiah said. As per the request of the residents, he directed BDA officials to provide necessary documents to the residents without forcing them to file RTI applications.
“There is a storm water drain that runs across 6.2 acres of land. We have requested the BDA commissioner to make it a tree park, so that a lot of trees can be saved and the ground water table is also recharged,” say the residents.
“This is how development should happen, with citizens of the neighbourhood taking up initiatives to take care of their layout. This is the sustainable model for the city. The nodal officer of the RWA will coordinate with the BDA in developing the lake.”
The commissioner also directed the officials to submit a report on the total lung space in Koramangala, with details of whether they are used, unused or encroached.
According to Vishwanath Kashyap, secretary of the Residents’ Welfare Association 3rd Block, following the verdict of the Supreme Court with regard to the disputed land, BDA must take up developmental work to safeguard its land. “In preparing the DPR, we will also take the suggestions and expertise of scientists from IISc and other environmentalists,” said Vishwanath.
Besides, the residents also brought to the notice of the commissioner that about 1.5 acre of land belongs to Ananda Educational Institution, but has not been used so far.
Of 11.4 acres which is part of the Mestripalya tank area, 9.6 acres is now available for development as a water body. The rest of the area has been occupied by a BSNL office operating from the lake bed area.
Following constant pressure from the Koramangala residents, BDA has now decided to take up this land and develop a lake.
Besides, there is an interim order on the remaining part of the lake, measuring about 6.2 acres. The residents have moved the Supreme Court, challenging these 6.2 acres allotted as sites to MLAs, by BDA. “BDA had given away this land to the MLAs’ Housing Cooperative Society, through which 47 MLAs were allotted sites here. Among them, 24 MLAs were allotted alternative sites elsewhere. There is an interim order on other sites, except six of them who were given sale deeds in November 2009. The case is still on in the Supreme Court,” said the residents.
There are around 20 families living in the lake area and BDA says it is illegal encroachment. Mariyamma, one among the many affected, told TOI: “BDA should have made alternative arrangements for us also. We have been living here for the past 29 years and have been asked to vacate. We will meet the commissioner and request him to grant us alternative place.”


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