In a shocking revelation, sources from Karnataka Lake Development Authority have said that the department is severely short staffed and this is the reason why the department is not able to protect any of Bengaluru’s lakes.

 

Instead of the requirement of 92 people including the vigilance and police wing as authority, there are only 10 people who are presently managing the lakes. Each time a complaint comes regarding debris dumping or issue pertaining to the lakes, the only police officer attached has to investigate and file a report. Ironically, he only has to do the clerical paperwork job as well.

 

Recently there were cases of lake land being encroached and also frequent dumping of debris by private firms and also from irresponsible civic agencies including BBMP and BMRCL. To check this type of illegality a strong Karnataka Lake Development Authority is needed but now the authority itself  is in the need of man power.

 

"This issue is pending before the state government for a long time but they have failed to address the staff crunch issue. In the first place, the staff given to the department is not sufficient and on top of that, the government has failed to fill 90 percent vacancy. This is the primary reason why KLDA is not able to begin the performance," said Ram Prasad, Convenor, Friends of Lakes.

 

The KLDA, which now has a control over all the lakes in Karnataka, has now got the power to even impose the penalty of  Rs 5 lakh on polluters and encroachers. But with limited man power, it is over burdened.

 

"At present, there is the Deputy Conservator Forest of Lake Wing, two engineers and few clerical staff and sadly, there is one person in KLDA police wing who is of Superintendent of Police rank. The appointment of Range Forest, Officer First Division Assistant and Second Division Assistant Officers, and Police staff for vigilance and inspection can save the lakes. We are hoping that the government will fill vacancies so that we can begin perform," said a senior official from KLDA.