Bengaluru: It’s been more than 14 months and the tahsildar (Bengaluru North) is yet to clear encroachments despite Lokayukta’s repeated orders. While officials from Land Records Department had submitted the results of a survey, the tahsildar does not seem keen to adhere to the orders of removing encroachments on Chikkabanavara Lake.

To reclaim and protect Bengaluru’s dying lakes Namma Bengaluru Foundation had started the ‘United Bengaluru’ campaign under the aegis of freedom fighter HS Doreswamy in 2017. The Namma Bengaluru Foundation (NBF) through the United Bengaluru team submitted 23 petitions to the Lokayukta on August 3, 2017, one of which were that concerning Chikkabanavara and Mallasandra lakes.

The Hearing:

Chikkabanavara Lake - The Lokayukta was visibly upset during the hearing as the Bengaluru North tahsildar was absent. There was a need for a concrete response from the Tahsildar on the removal of encroachments on Chikkabanavara Lake. The BWSSB assured the Lokayukta and the petitioners that they would stop sewage from entering the lake by 2021 and that they would pump all the sewage water to the STP and treat the same. Additionally, the BDA stated that the DPR is being prepared and will be finalized in a month’s time and that they have budgeted the rejuvenation of lakes at Rs 10 crore.

Lokayukta directed the Bangalore North Taluk Tahsildar to have the encroachments removed and submit a report within 3 months.

Mallasandra Gudde Lake - Lokayukta in his earlier order had directed the tahsildar (Bengaluru North) to remove encroachments. But there was no action despite repeated orders. The Lokayukta once again ordered the Tahsildar (who was absent during the hearing) to remove the encroachment and to submit a status report in 10 days.

Harish Kumar, general manager, Namma Bengaluru Foundation stated, “In summary, the authorities seem to have no accountability and have a lackadaisical approach. Local authorities need to fix these accountability and transparency issues immediately”.