After the second hearing on Bengaluru lakes, the Lokayukta has given a deadline of two months to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to conduct a survey of the lakes under their purview and to clear encroachments.
A notice will be sent to the Bengaluru Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to submit their plan of action to stop the inflow of sewerage into lakes. At the hearing, officials from Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA), BBMP, Minor Irrigation Department on record agreed that all lakes are encroached and polluted.
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Lokayukta will personally inspect all lakes along with United Bengaluru and officials before the next hearing, which has been scheduled to April 15. The first inspection will be held on January 31 at Byramangala Reservoir and Vrushabhavathi Valley and the next one on February 2 where Talaghattapura, Sompura, Gubbalala, Vasanthpura and Sarakki Lakes will be inspected.
One of the mentors of United Bengaluru and Member of Parliament, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has been fighting relentlessly to save Bengaluru’s Lakes and Water bodies, said, "With the State government's and bureaucrats' negligent attitude towards the lakes, allowing builders and others to carry on with projects on the waterbeds, have become symbols of rampant corruption."
"The current government is in the clutches of builders. It bows to the builders' lobby by creating a criterion for declaring the lakes dead and subsequently calling for denotifying these lakes to make way for development," he added.
The United Bengaluru has been given three months to submit an action plan concerning lake rejuvenation.
H S Doreswamy, one of the mentors of United Bengaluru and freedom fighter, said, “I am very happy that Lokayukta has recognised the efforts of the citizens under United Bengaluru and has asked us to chalk out plans to save the lakes. We will speak to experts about restoring and reviving lakes and work on a comprehensive plan, including the revenue aspect, and submit the same to the Lokayukta.”
According to statistics, only half of 1600 ML sewage is being treated in the city every day. Has Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah failed in his election promise of 100 percent effluent treatment and reuse of water for the non-drinking purpose? Despite all this, citizens continue their fight for accountability in pursuit of better Bengaluru.