Bengaluru: The House Committee on Lakes has recommended action against officials responsible for the Hulimavu Lake breach.

At a meeting of civic authorities on Thursday, the members of the committee came down heavily on the officials over frequent lake breaches in the city.

Chairman of the committee Araga Jnanendra took BBMP officials to task for their negligence.

“The BDA handed over the Hulimavu Lake to the BBMP in 2016. But no development works have been taken up so far. The encroachment of the lake has caused hardship to the residents,” the members of the committee said.

“The residents had raised complaints about water overflowing from the lake. But we had no intention to cut down the bund of the lake. Our engineer Shilpa from the lake department had said that she would inspect the lake. But before that, the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewage Board (BWSSB) officials broke down the bund, causing all the damages,” said BBMP commissioner BH Anil Kumar.

Jnanendra wasn’t satisfied with the reply. “If there were complaints, the authorities should have taken up the work scientifically,” he shot back.

“It has been estimated that the area has witnessed Rs 29-crore loss due to the breach. About 600 houses have been affected. About 196 families are economically strong. So, we did not compensate according to the rules,” the BBMP chief said.

However, Jnanendra said the families cannot be differentiated as rich and poor as they were not hit by a natural calamity. “Compensate all flood-hit houses and submit a report in a week before we inspect the lake,” he said and warned the Palike chief of action if he failed to do so.

Meanwhile, the officials said taking up cleaning work in the lake without any knowledge of the water level led to the mishap.

Isha Pant, deputy commissioner of police from the south-east zone, said, “Residents had complained to Karthik, a BWSSB official, and to BBMP officials saying water was overflowing into Thejaswini Layout and a Ganesha Temple.

“BBMP engineer Shilpa had instructed home guards to clean the lake a few months ago when the water level was low. But the water level rose recently. The officials had no clue about it and took up the cleaning work. This led to the mishap.”

Supporting Isha’s claims, Kumar said, “While cleaning the lake, the home guards had no idea of hard rock and bund. They broke the hard rock in the lake bund that caused the breach.”